Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Ornaments: Elf Stocking

 Here is my results of making some Christmas ornaments for this year!!!  I just LOVE them!  I think I could make a whole set for my tree, but as it is it's one for me and the other two are for friends!  I really enjoyed using my vintage lace though!!! It's so yummy!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Favorite Things: Christmas and Ginger!

I so love decorating for Christmas, and because of that I've been doing it earlier each year!  And what's so cool is that I'm not the only one doing that either!  It seems to be gaining popularity to decorate earlier!  And why not?  I always feel sad when they come down and feel like it was never long kinda makes you understand why some people love to have Christmas decor all year round.  But I also love garden stuff so I wouldn't want Christmas all year, but during the months the garden is sleeping it's nice to have something pretty!  Since we got the Ektorp couches from Ikea I got the white covers to put on for Christmas time, and I got green velveteen pillow covers and I made bands of Christmas fabric to go over them so it's nice to be able to change the covers at my whim!  LOL  (and they are washable, a must for white!!!)
My Hubby saw our little dog Ginger sitting here all cute and since we had the camera on the tripod still from taking photos in the garden he thought it would be perfect to get a photo of her!  But he's forgotten how to use a SLR so deferred  to me to get the shot.  It's cool that we both enjoy photography.  It's been a long time since we've gotten to do any this way, the last time either of us used a SLR camera was back when you used film!!!  LOL  So I've had a time getting used to thinking about photos in Manual settings instead of the old point and shoot we've had for 10 years of digital cameras.  Back then it was way too expensive to get a digital SLR and it still can be if you get a fancy pansy professional one, but I got a good starter SLR (Nikon d5100) which is perfect and it's all about the lenses you use anyway than it is about the camera itself.  I'm really enjoying using a wide open aperture and getting some nice shallow depth of field photos (where only a small area is in focus and the rest blurs).  I think it's nice to look at this photo and see Ginger in focus and everything else not so much, which usually with point and shoot you get everything in focus and it can be a bit plain.  I like how it gives it good depth like you are looking in a window at her.  If you take your hand and focus your eyes on it and bring your hand closer or further than your face you will see that your eyes blur what's around you as you bring it closer to your face, and that is the effect of a wider aperture which I LOVE!!!  LOL It's fun to play around with it and practice, so I can capture the feeling I want in a photo!
Anyway isn't Ginger adorable?  And she loves to snuggle too!!!  So I guess this photo is really 3 favorite things in one!!!  Christmas, Ginger, and Photography!!! LOL
And this reminds me I need to make my annual Christmas Ornaments!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Favorite Things: Nutcrackers

I took this photo the other day experimenting with back lighting and depth of field.  I love nutcrackers!!! They are one of my favorite things!  Having been a military brat, I lived in Italy when I was a kid, and nutcrackers are everywhere!  I also have never seen The Nutcracker Ballet and would really love to someday!
Also with all his sequins I think he provides some good embroidery inspiration!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Caught a Hummingbird!

I really love this photo, isn't it so cute?  This little hummingbird found a little perch in my climbing rose that it kept coming back to, so I was able to set up the tripod and capture a photo!  One of my Favorite Things!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012


I've been debating whether I should share my photography photos on here or not, or if I should post them to my other blog Honey Bee's Fancy instead.  So I'm thinking for now I'll test things out, maybe post more over there and then only a very few of my absolute favorites here.  So here are a few that I really loved from a couple of sessions.

 My garden has always been inspiration to me!  I love this one of the light shining through honeysuckle vines.  Seeing this photo just makes me feel happy
 Then I just love this teeny tiny little butterfly, if you know how big the flowers (alyssum) it is sitting on then that gives you a good idea how tiny this butterfly is.  An interesting tidbit is that I used to use a stamp very often that was of this very butterfly and I had never seen one in person.  So when I saw it in my garden for the first time I was thrilled and had to get a photo of it!
Gotta love the sweet little violas!  I liked the idea of having one in focus and the others in the background blur.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tarnished Gold: Beads Added

 I've added beads to a few more areas and now I'm at the place where I need to sit on it a while to see if it's done.  I'm debating over adding some sparkle to the bits of lace I added recently, but nothing feels right so far.

 I added some golden bugle beads that are in a slanted pattern like this: / \ / \ / \

 In this area I added some gold beads to the center of the roses, and a slanted lightly tinted transparent bugle beads at the top.

And in the rings of the tatting I added some more of the golden bugle beads to give the hint of sparkle in a flower shape.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Some Ornament Photos

 I'm venturing into photography, which has been on my back-burner for far too long now, but now is finally able to come to the front.  I'm learning all over again with a digital SLR so I thought I would share some of my beginner photos.  They say the secret to improving is to take tons of photos, so today I played around taking photos of my Christmas Tree.  I will probably do that a lot this month!  I didn't shoot any of the hand made ornaments yet, but since I need to practice I will get to them!  These are my favorite photos from today.  I had opened my front door and the light spilled in onto my tree and I couldn't resist playing with it!

 I really love this one, just something about the nutcracker, I'm not even fully aware of why I love this photo so much.  Partly the sharpness of his hair, the light hitting him.  It's hard to be just beginning, but everyone must start somewhere and I have to give myself permission to be a beginner! ;)
 I love the sparkles on this bird and the light hitting them.
 I liked this one because of the color, and I like the way the glitter looks.  I also like how the feathers are softer out of focus further back.  I really love the shallow depth of field photos out there and what's known as Bokeh which is basically background blur.  I also like the sparkle in the crystal drop.  You can see a handmade ornament in the background the Tree that Wendy made for me!
 This one loved right away, I love the shininess and the Bokeh of the lights in the background.  And you can see a little tatted snowflake in the background too.
 I liked this angle too focusing on his beak and the hanging ornament more to the side instead of coming out of his back like the one above.  I would have liked to try out a bit deeper depth of field on this one and get more of his body in focus and see what that would be like, so I will keep that in mind for next time.
 I like how the sparkles on this guy looks like Bokeh.
And this one I was playing with the exposure, I think the feathers are so wispy and soft looking!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tarnished Gold: Added Bugle Beads

Since I'm now adding finishing touches here and there, one of the things I decided was to add some light green bugle beads to the silkie frame.  They are treated like leaves.  I like the added color, fullness, and texture they give.

I just got a new camera!  It's a digital SLR!  I'm going to start learning and practicing how to take better photos, and even this DSLR in auto is an improvement over using my phone as I have been!  LOL
So my hope is that you will start to see improvement in my photos as I keep growing in this area too!
I'm totally excited and wish I could learn everything overnight and be able to take all the incredible photos I've been dreaming of for so long!  LOL  At least now I'm able to start this journey!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Tarnished Gold: Tons Accomplished

 I sat down to work a little more and ended up doing a ton of stuff!  I dyed a bit of lace and added it to several places, the silkie, the upper right and the upper left.  It seems that only a few finishing touches are left until this block is finished!

Since the center fabric print has just the faintest hint of a lavender color and I had added some tiny clear lavender flower beads to the silkie when I was embellishing it, I added those same lavender flower beads along the lace in the upper right then I took them and added them in the rose motif and used them to "point" and bring the eye around and back down to the silkie.  I also added a similar flower bead that is champagne colored and added it to the tatting in the lower left and alternating with the lavender ones in the upper right lace.

I also added a be in the lower left using a interesting bead that my friend Lillian gave me that when I saw it I instantly thought BEE!

 The bee is made using the amber and black bead for the body, some black seed beads for the eyes and   The wings are worked in the lazy daisy stitch using some Rachelette by Caron tubular thread that has a metallic thread running through it.  Then I used some metallic floss to give the wings some definition.

 In the upper right corner I added the dyed lace and a label that my friend Lillian also gave me.  I thought it looked perfect, from the word, to the rose, to the frayed ends!
I added some of the dyed lace to the bottom of the silkie to additionally frame it.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Tea Party: Applique Update

Wow it's been a crazy long time since I posted about this Tea Party CQ!  As you can see I have been working on it but it's only a little bit for how long it's been.  I have 5 of the 8 tea cups appliqued down only 3 left!  The teapot is crazy, and I found myself not wanting to work on it at all so I switched to the cups.  It's hard for me to only work on applique and not be doing the more creative stuff, but I have to finish the applique first so I can get to the fun stuff.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Tarnished Gold: A Bird's Nest

 Today I watched one of Lilla's recent videos about how to create little Whimseys and in it she created a birds nest.  Well I guess it was just the perfect thing to inspire me!  I looked at the block and thought a birds nest would be really cute so I tried a few things and came up with one using a couple of yarns and a perle cotton thread.  Inside the nest I put 3 little eggs out of pearls and 2 are a darker color and I made 1 a lighter color.  I thought it would be cute to have a little variation in egg color since usually that's how it is in nature.

After making the nest I thought it would be great in the lower area but needed a way to let it sit so I grabbed a piece of lace that was a scrap laying around and twisted it and started pinning it in place.  I loved the look of it and who know a twisted piece of lace would resemble bark so well for a branch.

I cut out little leaves out of several different fabrics and played around till I got something I liked and then sewed it down by the middles so they would look like the veins.

 More and more this block seems to be taking on a theme of a Nature Walk and all the pretty things you might see while out.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Tarnished Gold: Adding to the Silkie Frame

Yesterday while searching through my stash for inspiration I came across these red metal roses my friend Lillian gave me.  I thought maybe they would look nice around the silkie and sure enough I loved the way it enhanced the frame, so I stitched them into place.
It makes me think that it is still unfinished, I've never felt quite satisfied with the way the frame is looking and with the addition of these roses I think it makes it closer to the feel I am wanting.  I might hold more bead tryouts and see if adding anything else enhances it as well!

Three bare spots left on this block and still no firm ideas.  I think I will concentrate on the frame a bit more to see what else it might need and keep the rest of the block on the back burner to percolate ideas.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Tarnished Gold: Honeysuckle Flowers Finished

 I finally got to sit down and finish the honeysuckle flowers!  I love them, so sweet and subtle.  These photos seem to be a bit better to see the stitching in.
Then I took a few hours trying to figure out what's next!  Went though stash and still can't seem to come up with any ideas.  I think I'll call it a day, all that thinking and searching makes you tired! LOL  I hate getting stuck, but the good news is only 3 more areas to work on till it's finished.

Friday, November 02, 2012

I've Joined the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2013!

I've decided to join the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2013!  I have noticed that without something to motivate me I tend to put my creative stitching in the background.  So when I saw the announcement that registration for this year's project I decided to join it.  It simply provides motivation to create a block each month with only a few minimum requirements so your free to express yourself yet giving you motivation to create something new each month!  Even if you don't want to join if you follow the blog you will get to see some pretty eye-candy and the year progresses.  The 2013 blog is and if you want to see last year's participants you can go here:

I start in January! YAY!  So now I'm mulling over ideas, if I want to do 12 themed blocks or not and if so what theme?  I was considering the Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker but I don't have any of the fabrics that are available to use and I'd have to do a lot of scrambling for stash.  So I'm thinking that this year I will start to collect stash for that theme so that next year I can do Flower Fairies.

I'm also considering a Tea theme, I have always loved the tea themes and haven't gotten to ever complete a project in it.  I have stash for it already so I can get to creating any time I want.  It would be fun do do a Tea of the Month theme and have them put together in some way.  I've really been loving the art journals or books of yummy lace that are out there and have never made one.  Maybe I will combine it into a book of sorts that you can flip through and enjoy each block as a page.  It would be a nice way to show my work to people and it would be portable too, kinda like a coffee table book. LOL And it would be something I've never done before and would be totally new territory to explore.  I really love this idea.