Friday, November 29, 2013


SO....are you planning to engage in this insanity??  Not me.....I don't even like shopping at other times of the year.

If you agree......perhaps you will be doing online shopping as I do.  And...if 'art' is on your shopping list, do stop by my gallery shop  to select an item for someone on your list, or heck....for yourself.

Now through Friday, Dec. 6th shipping is's my gift to you..... I appreciate our almost daily chats!
**Excluding framed pieces.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


HAPPY TURKEY DAY TO ALL.....actually I hope you are enjoying your family and friends.....not necessarily sitting at the computer reading blogs!!

We got introduced to deep fried turkey many years ago by our son's inlaws.  And yes....unless you've actually eaten can't imagine that it isn't greasy!  But, truly it's moist, delicous, and definitely not greasy.

I grabbed this photo off the look at all those dry leaves on the grass, the propane tank, and the open flame cooker...yikes!!!  Hope this guy was still smiling at the end of his day!

 Here's a safer way to cook the bird!!
Without proper can be dangerous.  For safety concerns, we've now invested in an electric turkey fryer.
Just look how beautiful ole' Tom Turkey looks....(again..this isn't ours)
Naturally.....there are those protesting the idea of a Turkey Meal all together.....


Wednesday, November 27, 2013


The last time we had such an early never left.  We had storms (what seemed like) once a week for 3 months!  Apparently, we didn't move far enough South!  However, if I found myself living in FL or AZ in the'd surely hear me whining about the hot weather.  My body temperature gauge's comfort level is VERY narrow.

 Really...this doesn't look as nasty as it is....I wouldn't even step out of the doorway onto to the porch to get a better shot...the wind is blowing the snow horizontally, though you can't tell from the picture.
Off our front porch the view is rather pretty....BUT......brrrr....and underneath that pretty snow is ice....which is to be respected here with our narrow, steep, curved mountain roads.

Oh well.....I guess I should just amuse myself today in the studio.... oh...I think I can do that rather nicely.....  Safe travels to those of you who are hitting the roadways or airways this holiday......

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


After seeing the high prices of felted bowls in galleries and shops, I decided to try to create one myself.  Up to this point, making vessels of any sort from wool has not entered my wheel house....BUT....perhaps now it might.
 This actually was a fast way to make one. I started with commercial wool, fusing layers together to provide more strength.
 As you can see dividing the circle into sections and stitching in a pleat where each met, a casual shape emerged.
 That's all the farther I had gotten on this project when our group, The Fiber Junkies, met at my house the other day.  They suggested I add a base to provide more support.  Of course making a template at this point (since I am as mathematically challenged as I am directionally)....was a head scratcher!
 The addition was a positive step, but leaving it so 'plain jane' didn't feel right....
A few circles here and there were a fun addition.  Hopefully the design will continue to be appealing when the bowl is filled with???  What???  Shiny apples or oranges would be lovely, don't you think??  Or perhaps it could be a catch all on a hallway table for car keys etc.
This will be a very busy holiday before I forget....I'm adding a link to Nina- Marie's "Off The Wall Friday".......perhaps she will forgo her weekly connection this week, but do hop over to visit other like minded artists each Friday.

Monday, November 25, 2013


A routine I've followed for years and years is to wrap Christmas gifts, with a theme. I've covered boxes in the Sunday paper comics with bright ribbons, brown craft paper with twine, white butcher paper with red ribbons, glossy red paper with lace, color coded tissue paper for each person decorated with penny candy such as strips of 'buttons', gum balls in cellophane strips, licorice, etc.  (the later is not a good choice with children or pets around).  How do I know to mention this detail??

Living a distance from our families requires shipping gifts.  So this year, to reduce the hassle of finding boxes and then finding other big boxes to pack the boxes in for shipping......

I've made fabric bags for each gift....a variety of ribbons act as closures. Yesterday we woke to 17 degree temperatures so it seemed like a great day to tackle this project.  Fortunately, I had a large stash of holiday prints at hand for the job.  This is a sample of what I did.....all the while trying to keep calm during the Green Bay Packer and Minnesota Viking game.  This is going to be a loooonnnng season with our Packer QB out, and the team now depending upon a 3rd stringer....but Packer fans never waiver....they will be back next year.....

Friday, November 22, 2013


On Thursday we had our Fiber Junkies meeting a my house.  Several of our members end up hosting us so often simply because they live at the midpoint between our South Carolina gals and me....who lives the farthest North and West of Asheville.
 So, since they made the trip....I decided to put them through the paces of the even count peyote stitch.....
 These are the samples  I use for the workshop I teach on the subject....which by the way, will be the focus of my Thurs. Feb. 6, 2014 class at the AQS show in Phoenix.
 This technique can be applied to all sorts of you see a scissors sheath and an eye glass case.  
 We worked on felted wool and beaded around a flat mirror for the learning process.  At the AQS show students will progress onto beading a stone cabochon as well. down......more to go.....  You did good girls!!!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Out came one of the several boxes of batiks I was gifted from my friend fortunate I am to have such a generous pal!!!  I'm going to pass that kindness along by making and gifting a lap quilt as a thank you to someone whose hospitality I've enjoyed many times.
 Again, since I really don't enjoy piecing.....I've chosen to go the "Modern" quilt style by using larger than typical patches.
 Rows will be pieced vertically.
 It's easier for me to audition the patches positioned in rows on my design wall before they are sewn together.  I expect once that's done, I'll find a few blocks that need to be switched out....but this method works for me.
After the piecing was completed, I was thinking the charcoal strips are a tad too wide.  However, the straight line quilting which is in progress has really helped tone it down.  (quite a surprise to me!)   Hopefully, I can get a photo of the finished quilt check back...won't you?? 

Monday, November 18, 2013


OKAY....I admit it....I'm getting a bit antsy stitching row after row of cross hatching on my latest was time for a little diversion.
 My friend Kate gave me a few flat rocks she found, and pal Val gave me a large Hawaiian lava I set out to decorate a few....just for fun....
 This is the 2nd batch of embellished rocks I've tackled and therefore I've learned a few tricks along the way.  #1.  When working with really smooth rocks....the threads do NOT want to stay put as I've begun to add dots of glue in strategic places to keep things in position as the wrapping and bead embellishing is underway.  #2.  Working in stages with several at a time allows time for the glue to dry so you aren't left twiddling your fingers!
Here's a few of the rocks I made.  The gray rock on the right (orange thread) features some of the really cool hand dyed thread that 'The Quilt Rat' Jill shared with me.  She's always up to intriguing check out her blog.  Thank you again Jill!!

I often write my blogs ahead of time and schedule them for publishing......therefore I tend to miss making a note that I will be linking a specific post to Nina-Marie's "Off The Wall Fridays".  It's a place where other like-minded fiber artist share what they've been working on.  So....even though this will be published before's her sure to visit. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013


We've loved Bluegrass long before moving to the mountains of NC was even a blink in our long term planning.  In fact, 'the husband' was just commenting that 50 years ago this past week, he and a friend saw Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs at Orchestral Hall in Chicago!  Now, you gotta be a fan to remember a specific event/date!!

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage (her band) preformed in the area last a FULL house. One of the many reasons we admire Bluegrass bands, is their absolute loyalty to their fans.  Like Country Western stars and the various car racing associations.....they are grateful to their fan base and make themselves so available for autographs and 'shake and howdy' as they say it!

This is a terrible photo.......and it's terrible that my short video didn't turn out either so you could hear their music.  (Technology....grrrr)

So often I've lamented that I don't draw......when I really should be wishing to be able to sing/play an instrument.....or how about write a song....what would that feel like.  Amazing I'm sure......

Thursday, November 14, 2013


My needle turned into a magic carpet, taking me to place I would never have dreamed, which provided the opportunity to meet folks from all over the world. Luckily, many acquaintances have turned into friends who have enriched my life immensely.

The blogging world is beginning to replace the 'in person' contact for me and  new friendships continue to develop.

I've been following 'the quilt rat's' blog for some time.....not sure how our paths crossed but Jill Buckley is an artist I've come to admire and respect.  Recently she was blogging about dyeing embroidery threads.....which led to thread envy on my part.   

Well.....I'm one happy gal.....Jill shared some with me.  What a generous jesture.....all the way from Canda!  My head is whirling with ideas about how to incorporate them asap into my work.  I will share photos when I do!  

Jill's business card is an example to her attention to detail.......
The face side features paper toweling, painted, stamped and stitched.  In my humble opinion, she's going to need to make a lot of them.  She is on her way in this industry.....several of her doodle designs are now available in the newest Janome sewing machines.  Yup....that's big time and well deserved recognition for her art.

Thank you Jill!!!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


My this is sure slow going......I first blogged about this project back in mid. October here, never considering how long the process would take me.  Of course, I've been away from home numerous times so my attention to the project has been limited......and I have a few other pieces in the works as well.

Since I like to have handwork for the evenings......I'm not upset that it's taking so long....  What about you?  Do you yearn for projects that take a lot of time or are you a 'get-er done' kinda quilter?


Monday, November 11, 2013


As a long time Packer backer, it was painful listening to the game on the Internet yesterday (the only access we have here)....perhaps it would have been worse actually watching the it.

 Jordy's unbelievable catch was ruled 'no touchdown'.......and this was after the 2nd string QB was injured on the first series and the Packers were left with a 3rd string QB and no back up at all.  
 We all know the importance of a QB, but never has it been so apparent! 
With players falling like dominoes, what's next?  .....maybe the cheerleaders playing some of the empty positions?
BUT......then there are us Cheeseheads and true Packer fans.......this season is effectively over for them, but as they say....there's always next year!!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Years of constant airline travel earned me plenty of immunity to the perils of germs.  But, oh my......I purposely eliminated most teaching air travel about two years ago and now paid the price!

After returning from my recent trip to visit the grandchild (oh ya....our son and DIL too).....I came down with a major cold/cough.  Bad enough to postpone my daily "forced marches' directed by 'the husband' for several days.

So, while I was recuperating, the leaves were falling.  I got back on the trail yesterday and was stunned by what felt like an overnight change.  The temps. now are in the 30's when we awake, but that's still better than what's to come. Isn't there a certain beauty about this starkness?

Friday, November 8, 2013


Thank you to my Cheesehead friend Lynn for making me aware of this link, reminding we quilters here on earth, that we have it easy!

NASA Astronaut Karen Nyberg Invites Quilters to Create a Space here to view a short video...amazing....

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Embellishing with natural materials can be a challenge, not only in regard to the design and execution but displaying can be problematic as well.
After collecting pine needles along my morning walks, spraying with clear lacquer helped preserve them.  Framing the work under glass was the answer for the piece I created with these pieces of nature.  Here's how I did it........

 Once the actual fiber piece was completed, I used tiny hand stitching on the front of the work (large running ones on the back) to attach it to an acid free mat.  Securing all knots very well.  
 To protect and disguise the threads, I 'dry mounted' a piece of handmade paper.  Dry mounting is a process of covering both surfaces (to be attached) with rubber cement.  When each is fully dry, they are pressed together to make a permanent bond.
 Next, I cut clear plastic spacer bars the length and width of the inside of the frame.  The ones I use have a paper covered adhesive strip that when removed, helps to hold them in position.  This allows the work to sit an appropriate distance from the glass. (especially necessary for this type of embellishment)
 A label is added.
And a final protective thin piece of cardboard is added before securing the layers with metal clips. sure the frame you choose has room for the plastic spacers.  I had to do some adjusting with this metal frame....but opted for it anyway because I wanted the low profile look.  

                                                               click on photo to enlarge
MOUNTAIN PINE NEEDLES   16" X 12"  © 2013

 Artist hand-dyed and felted wool, embellished with pine needles, rusted cotton cord, and hand embroidered.  Matted in a low profile black frame.

Due to the glare of the glass.....I found it impossible to get a good quality photo of the piece in its frame.....I'm sure you all can envision it without the visual!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013


 My visit to the NC Museum of Art was limited, so there was almost no time to stroll through the many other exhibits.
However on a quick glance, I spotted this interesting display. (and I apologize for not noting the artist's name)  
I've been using buttons on my work for 30 years....but never to this extreme!

Star Bright #2   12.5" x 12.5"   Mary Stori © 2011

 What a coincidence......a couple from San Diego just purchased this button embellished wall piece from my blog shop.  The design was published in my book, "Embellishing With Felted Wool".  
 The buttons are a combination of antique and contemporary.  After stitching the buttons in place, beads are stitched from hole to hole, providing a very polished look to the overall design.  The entire background features random "chicken scratching' hand embroidery.
Beaded edging stitching has been a trademark of mine for years.  This type of treatment can be used on the edge (binding) or to create the illusion of a inner border.  It helps to frame the center design and adds unexpected details.

More button embellished pieces can be found here.