Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Food For Thought - G'Bye 2008 & . . . . . . . Happy 2009!

I'm always happy when the old year ends and the new one begins...I get a sense of renewal and while I typically don't make resolutions...I do try to re-organize...clean up my stuff...and look forward to new challenges! I already have several on my horizon....especially at work! I need a clone ... just to make it all work. I'm not even going to think about that yet....I'm just going to pray a lot!

Today is my Mom's 83rd BD! I spoke to her today & going to go visit tomorrow...then spend New Year's Eve with her, three of my sisters, two BILs, kids, neices and whoever else shows up! Three days off in a row....is rare for me...and although today was actually one of them...had to do a schedule and one week of payroll...so wasn't really off...but at least it's more peaceful here!

With 2009 on the horizon...I contemplate what big things I want to achieve.

The obvious biggie will be the article in A Needle Pulling Thread....the work is already done on that...but may need to redo some graphics.

The Drag Bag has been on the back burner for a few months now...and anxious to get going on it again...might actually take it with me to work on tomorrow.

My "Blank Canvas" will also be transformed into a finished project...and pattern.

Then there's the Portholes Project....which is still under contemplation...go bigger?...stick to this size?....undecided!

The one big idea that I've been holding back on for years....is a new Carousel Horse. Sir Prance -A -Lot was only the tip of this idea iceberg....I've been wanting to do a full 3-D version for a long time. I think I'm ready to proceed.

It may not be quite as intricate (I don't have 200 spare hours to invest...plus am thinking ahead to possibly another article...or at minimum a pattern). I've done a lot of the hard work already...the basics I used for Sir PAL will work again...though the medium may vary....French Knot Roses instead of teeny bullion roses (for example) will make it go faster!

So ... there ya go ... that's the plan!

Happy New Year to everyone .... may it be all you hope it will be!

Hugs ... Marie

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas To All . . . And The Winner Is . . .

Peace...Love...& Joy to everyone!

Hope you are all having a Merry Christmas!

It's obvious the kids are getting older.....this is the first Christmas ever when Mom & Dad were up before them!

Also I let them totally do the tree this year...as I had too much else to do...and it looks awesome! We always get a live tree...and give it a name. This year the tree's name is Albert.

Santa brought me lots of sweet things to eat...like Turtles, Toblerone, and Ferrero Rocher! They go soooooo good with Baileys coffee! Also some candles...a candy dish...a set of four beautiful salad size plates....and a few traditional essentials...socks, undies and the like! Ohhh...some scratch-type lottery tickets...maybe I'll do those later...hey...I could be rich!

Dinner will be ready about 6:00 ... mmmm I can smell the ham already! That gives me just enough time to announce the December Draw winner! I put all the names into a tin....shook 'em up good...and let Timothy pull out the winning name!

Allison Ann Aller .... come on down! An extra present for you this year!

Drop me a note with your Snail address ... so I can get that on it's way to you soon!

Thanks everyone for your kind comments over the year....I appreciate all of the wonderful feedback....and look forward to sharing more new things with you in the New Year. I like this draw idea...it's such a fun way to share....and I plan more of them in 2009....so stop in often!

Enjoy....Love & Hugs to All


Monday, December 22, 2008

What Was I Thinking ? ? ?

Okay.....I really should know better than to start something that will take me a month to do when I only have two weeks ! So my blank canvas is still nearly blank...I have done 28 rosebuds....but the greenery is slow going ... and there is no way I'd get it done for Christmas...this year.

But....I also decided that this gift was destined for the wrong person....as the picture that will go in it was from Mel TO me... so I should make it for myself.... & hang it in our home...and then at some point down the road let her have it.

In the interim...I decided on another hand-made gift...but...not of my making! I ordered and just received a fabulous pair of earrings made by Gwen Buchanan of Desideratum . Melanie is going to love them...they are so "her"!

I will still share the finished canvas when it is done ... but it'll now be some time next year!

It's almost here! Only a few more sleeps! ..... I am so looking forward to the end of it. It's been quite an exhausting season...and two days of relaxing and merry-making will be most welcome!

I do have my shopping all done now.... food included .... and only a few more things to wrap....so YAY! ... I'm ready for fun!

Will check in with you on Christmas Day .... and announce the winner of the December Draw!
Wishing you all Peace, Love & Joy this Holiday Season ... and a Happy 2009 !

Friday, December 19, 2008

Show & Share - Christmas Stocking - 4

It has begun....snowing that is! They say this is gonna be a big one....could get up to 50 cms before it's over...OMG.

Sharing the last of the stockings with you...this is mine. Blue is my absolute fave colour so added lots of that...with bits of other gem tones to round it out...& lots of gold trims, beads, charms & motifs.
Well...lots to do this morning...wrapping, cards, stitching...and then have to be at work for noon!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shop Till Ya Drop...& Wrap It Up!

Year after year I tell myself ( and sternly I might add) to start picking stuff up early...to avoid the last minute bustle...not to mention frustration at not being able to find what I want.

And yes... year after year the same thing happens...I don't listen to myself & end up holding off (again) until the birthdays of November have passed.....and Christmas is on the horizon. Maybe I shop best under pressure...with list in hand of things that I intend to buy.....I commit a couple or three days to power shopping.....then wrap like a fiend to get it present-able!

Today was a power-shopping day...on the heels of my last day off (Friday) which was the same. I have almost all of what I intended to get now...with the exception of two big gifts and some traditional undies for DH...and two or three small things...so feeling like I'm gaining on it!

Every year I do small gifts for my staff and fellow managers...just finished wrapping 33 of them! I got all the "kids" a 2009 - 2010 Planner.....hoping that they will use them to record their shifts...and important functions of family and school...to help me schedule better...let's see if it works! My regular staff get something special...handcrafted goodies that they're always thrilled with!

The boss and managers will be receiving some of my Ornament Cover creations...for the third year in a row...many of them have a collection in progress.

So...with my shash of bags filled with things to wrap I consider myself on track as the countdown is on!

How about you? Are you finished shopping &/or creating those things for your loved ones...or are you still scrambling to get ready for the Big Day?

Show & Share - Christmas Stockings - 3

The third stocking is the one I made for Paul. As for Tim's, I stayed with the rich jewel tones and gave it a masculine feel.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Show & Share - Christmas Stockings - 2

The second stocking I made was for my son Tim. He's not much for flash & splash...his wardrobe is black (mostly) accented with more black and the odd grey or white stripes. But he does like dark jewel tones ... greens ... amethyst ... ruby.... so I chose these to work his stocking. I added lots of small gold metallic trim...and other miscellaneous metallic and threads.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Show & Share - Christmas Stockings - 1

Something I wrote in a previous post reminded me about these ... as I did start in January to have all of these done for the following Christmas!

Years ago I had crocheted stockings for everyone in my family...right from my Mom & siblings to my neices & nephew....and they were used for a lot of years.
I decided that I wanted to make new CQ ones for just "us"...Paul, myself & kids. I wanted them to be the same...only different...so they were all created from the same pattern, but in different colours conducive to each individual.

When it comes to CQ...I've never been much of a "sew as you go" kinda gal...I actually create a pattern in advance and cut each piece individually...knowing that it'll fit exactly...and while some of you may think it's far too much effort...I personally think it is worth it...especially for this type of replication.
Each one has a CQ panel on the front, backed & topped with black velvet, lined with muslin & finished with a Mokuba gold cord hanger. I did mostly seam embellishing on them, but added a few charms & such.

The first I'm sharing is Melanie's...it has a distinctly "girlie" look to it...blues, pinks, purples & white...a bit sparkly & frilly.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Overlooking The Obvious

I'm sure you've heard the expression ... "can't see the forest for the trees" ... well DUH!

I was looking at the original pattern bits that I used to make the two brooches...when it dawned on me....that the other idea I had before the brooch ... was simply a Mini Spinner ornament!

Imagine these on a table-top size tree ... with smaller ornaments ... more fitting in proportion.

You could make them without dangles, or add short ones... stitching them on after the two pieces have been whipped together back to back.

As always...too many ideas...never enough time! Need to start in January to be ready by Christmas!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Inspiration of a Blank Canvas

With less than three weeks to go until Christmas Day, I have decided kind of last minute to make a gift for DD....and for DS...but I know the one I started today will take a bit longer as it will also become a pattern...so the planning, set up and notes are done as I go.

This is all that I'm going to show of the project...because I know DD sometimes checks out Mom's blog....and I don't want to spoil the surprise! I will show you all after she unwraps it.

A blank canvas...staring at it empty...yet able to envision it complete. I know what colours I want to use and the stitches I want to do...can see the picture in my mind's eye...and I love when that happens! Now...to transfer that to this canvas.

While I already know what I'm going to do....here's something for you to try:
Stare at it awhile...think of colours you like...and see if you can imagine filling this canvas! The running stitch line on the outside is 8 x 10.

Tell me what you see...and how you'd fill it up!

December Is A Time of Giving

I had a stitching therapy day...it was only running stitches...but I'll get into that next post.

I am happy you enjoyed the pin idea...and I've decided that I'm going make another one....but this one will go to one of you out there!

I'll collect all names from comments left on all December posts (more than one comment will get you more than one chance) and do the draw thing on Christmas Day....then send it off to the winner via post shortly after. I'll share a pic of it once the recipient notifies me that they've received it (only fair that they should be the first to see).

So keep reading...and commenting...and we'll see who's name comes out of the jar!

T'is The Season ... Continued

Ahhhh...finally a chance to slow down. I have this weekend off and as mentioned in a previous post ... have something new to share with you!

Actually it's another rendition of one of the ornaments shown in the CQ Mag Online article....only this one is a "wearable" version.

I'm one of those people who hate to part with anything useful....and I save stuff....yes...a self-confessed pack rat.

One night I made "doggies - in - blankets" (hot dogs split length-wise with a piece of cheddar inserted then rolled up in a Pillsbury Crescent Roll & baked...the kids love 'em!) I was about to throw out the packages...when I realized that the aluminum end pieces were almost identical to those larger frozen juice lids that I have used in past....only smaller! So...I carefully pulled away all of the paper.....washed & dried them...as my mind raced with the possibilities.

They're a mere 1 3/4" in diameter.....perfect pin size! I traced the shape onto paper and broke the circle up into mini CQ sections...then chose some fancy fabrics...made the panel...and embellished with metallics, rayons & beads.

Using the same finishing technique as the CQ Spinner (but for one side only) I padded it and gathered it over the disk. For the back ..... I cut out a leather circle, centred a bar pin on it and cut small slits to fit each end through then glued the leather backing on.

The beading at the bottom edge was made seperately ( a la Free Form ) then tacked in place with whipstitching. To complete the beaded edge, I added beads 3 at a time, backstitching through the 3rd bead before adding the next 3.

The second one has a stick pin instead of a bar. I bought a whole bunch of these years ago when I found them at Lee Valley....back in the days when I still had the booth....and was making things to sell....then later used them in kits for SRE pins.

The edging was done the same as the first...only made the dangles a bit finer...narrower...and longer.

I'm sure if I hadn't been so busy with the article that I might have made a dozen of them....as I think these would make fabulous gifts for special people....something to jazz up a blouse front or a blazer lapel.

Feel free to give them a go....and if you're not into Crescent Rolls....you could substitute one of those commercially available button forms or cut a disk from hard plastic (like from a laundry soap jug) or art board.

Have fun...and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Highs & Lows

Hi everyone! Did ya miss me? I missed you too!

Well it's done...and delivered! I feel relieved ...and lighter with all that weight of a deadline off me! I actually hand - delivered it today to Carla ... the editor. She lives in Newmarket ... about a 45 minute drive from here. It was fabulous to meet her in person and we had a great chat for about an hour...about the project ... the mag ... and all kinds of stuff.

The finished piece turned out very cool ... and Carla loved it! You can all get a "sneak peek" of the project in the Spring 2009 issue ... and the whole article in the Summer 2009 issue.

While I'm still feeling the effects of "Cloud 9" .... reality set in when I read a message from Barb E in Texas telling that Nora Creeach has passed away...and sadly for her family...her husband too passed away less than a week before. So sad for them all...an awful burden to lose both so close.

While I never met her in person...we did chat back and forth a lot back in the early list days. She was such a giving person....of both stash and her time...and so prolific in her life on-line. Where would we all be without her efforts in getting CQ Mag Online up and running?

My condolences to all of the Tree House Stitchers who had the good fortune of her company. I know you will miss her terribly...but take comfort in knowing that she is out of pain now...and stitching to her hearts content forever more!

More reality...work beckons...so off to start my schedule!

Will be around more often now that I'm freed up ... and have something new to show soon.

Still have Christmas in retail to deal with ... but our (exhausting) big kick-off weekend just wrapped up ... so now will just keep going until the closing bell on Christmas Eve!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Two BDs, One Party, and a Thousand Stitches Later...

Like I said ... November is one busy month...and it's not over yet!

I spent today stitching like crazy...and am just about spent. Experienced an unforseen snag...in that the mail took forever to bring me some threads from Vikki that I needed for my script & such...and that set me way behind. It did arrive finally...but like a month after I expected it...so ya...messed up my timing.

It's coming along...my special project...and while I'm happy with what I have so far...I am disappointed that my "vision thing" didn't quite happen. Maybe it got thrown off by my panic over the thread issue. I don't know...but I find myself stumbling through...adding this and that as inspiration dictates...but just had to stop due to a finally empty brain.

So...thought I'd stop in and catch up...instead of stitching something I might rip out later.

Melanie is now officially 16 ! We had a party for her at my sis's (which is bigger than my place) attended by 18 friends (OMG)...but all were blessedly well-behaved...and they did have a good time. She decided that she wanted to get her nose pierced as her BD present...and she did...so is now sporting a shiney stud-thing and getting used to it.

Our staff Christmas party was the day after. Lots of fun & really good food...not to mention that I won a really cool door prize which I will wrap as a present for DH...as coincidentally it was what I was going to buy for him! How handy was that!

Yesterday my big boy turned 18...and we went out to dinner to celebrate at our local Kelsey's. I was so tempted to let them know ... as they would have all gathered around and sung a Flintsones version of Happy Birthday...but the boy didn't even want a cake...let alone that! He was totally happy with his huge plate of chicken wings and needed no other pomp & circumstance.

Tomorrow I will resume stitching.....and plan on finishing the embroidery part so I can get on to finishing. All I have to do after that is complete my notes.....and I should be right on deadline.

No...I won't be sharing the project on blog...you'll all just have to wait until it's in print!

Time to get horizontal. My butt is numb from sitting most of the day. Only got up to change laundry loads & make dinner! Who would've thought of those as relief?

Catch up with you all more when this deed is done.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Busy Li'l Beaver!

November is a really busy month for me...with 2 birthdays (one a Sweet 16 and the other a big 18), work and co-op board Christmas parties, meetings and the approach of Christmas ... ( in Retail Land )...and then there's this looming deadline for my article of December 1st...you get the picture...lots that will be taking up my time...all this in addition to working full time...and we won't even get into the challenges I already have to deal with there!

Suffice it to say that if you don't see a post from me for a while...it is because all of this other stuff is sucking up my time!

I leave you now with an idea for a gift item. All Grandmas have one thing in common...grandchildren! They all seem to have precious photos of them...and of course need something to put them in. I'm sharing a pic of a photo album cover that I gave to my Mom...aka Grandma...a few years back for her special Grand Children photos.

Enjoy...till next post...
Hugs ... Marie

Sunday, October 26, 2008

CQ Mag Online is Up...& Fabulous!

The new issue of CQ Mag Online is out and has some fabulous things for you!

All of articles are wonderful ... chock full of ideas, information & inspiration!

I am particularly excited because I have an article in this issue! I created two ornaments...one is a CQ ball ... pretty challenging (for those who are up for it) and the other is a "spin-off" from my Portholes...a spinning ornament...with different CQs on each side.

I already have this big idea in my head to make a dozen of the ball ones and display them in a fluted crystal vase...as a table centrepiece...but just have too much on the go right now to manage that for this year...maybe by next Christmas...barring any more distractions. One a month seems a reasonable target to manage!

I recently came across a Temari Ball that I made a few years ago. I'd like to make several more of these too...gosh...so many ideas...never enough time!

Speaking of ideas...I no sooner had the spinners made...and the idea evolved again...smaller this time...something that could be worn. I will share this with you all at a later date...but right now I'm hard at it...preparing for my Summer article in A Needle Pulling Thread. I have to have it submitted by December 1st...and that's barely a month from now! Blinders on...no time for distractions.

Well...it's getting late...and tomorrow is Monday...big week ahead...as I'm short one at work. Lorna had to fly out to Edmonton to meet her new grand-daughter...who arrived on October 23rd...her birthday too...coincidentally!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Jen's Block in Full

There wasn't much left to show of the upper right corner...as the other pics show most of it ... so let's just go to the whole thing!

The border around the block is off-white Duppioni ... which was stitched after this picture with their names and wedding date...but I didn't get another shot of it at that point!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Jen's Block #3

TGIF....the real Friday!...and can sleep in tomorrow!
This shows the bottom right corner: the Morning Glory fabric & the hummingbird at top left corner came from the same piece. It's almost used up now...pooh!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jen's Fairy Block - Part 2

I was off yesterday...but had so much planned to do I didn't find time to get at the computer. The furnace got inspected ... and is fine ... so the heat is on!

This part of the block is the bottom left corner. Some of you may have seen the spider web fabric in other projects. It is one of my faves. I don't recall if I bought it or received it in a swap pack. I added stitching and beads to enhance it and the butterfly.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ohhhh...I Forgot to Tell About the Reunion!

If you recall I mentioned some time ago that my High School graduating class was having a 35th Reunion...it was on Saturday night!

It was a small gathering (considering how many of us there were that year)...but several of the people who came I hung with back then ... & I was really happy to see again. It turned out to be a lot of fun!

I took my year book with me...so that I (we) could look back to see who looked like what back then...it was actually quite helpful...'cause I never would have guessed who they were now!

I did get contact info for many of them...so that we can chat from time to time...it'll be great to keep in touch!

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Love Fairies...So Does Jen!

Finally back on line after having to deal with a cranky modem...and see that you all have been enjoying the Twighlight block.

Have another one to share with you...it was a wedding gift for my dear friend Jen...& one of her favourite things is fairies! It was pretty much a no-brainer when I was deciding what to give her.

I hope you don't mind indulging me ... as I share the parts before the whole.
I think it makes the full shot at the end like the final piece of a puzzle.

This one is a bright, cheery piece utilizing wee fairies from different fabrics with a pair of the brass charm ones...and other sweet bits...like a humming bird, spider web, dragon fly and flora.

I had intended it to be a pillow...but didn't have it sewn together by the wedding date...so I gave her the top wrapped up...and asked her to give it back to me so I could finish...but she hasn't done that yet! I asked her about that recently...and she thought that she might like to frame it instead if that was okay with me...and of course I am...after all...it is her gift!
The first piece is the upper left corner.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Nora's Card

It's been a few weeks since I sent this off in the mail...and am sure that it has arrived by now...so am sharing with you.

While I was looking for the card templates (which I thought I had put all together in the same spot...only to discover that was not the case) I stumbled across a small pink bag...and to my delight when I opened it...discovered a whole gob of ribbon that I had ordered from Vikki Clayton...like 5 years ago!

I selected several shades of purples & green to stitch Nora's card....and it turned out just lovely!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Twilight in the Fairy Glen

Here it is in all it's splendour. My sis snapped several pics in various light...and I think I like this one the best...as it shows the whole piece as clearly as it can be captured in a pic.

Food For Thought - Be Thankful!

Aside from all the great food and the time off...I know there are many things I have to be thankful for.....things that don't need a specific day to realize...but given the opportunity to reflect...brings them to the forefront of conciousness.

I am thankful for: Freedom...to think, to do, to live. Do we take these things for granted? Probably. Until we are faced with the prospect of the loss of same would we realize how good we have it.

I am thankful that my abilities can be shared with others through the wonders of the Web. The world is a smaller place when you can reach out and touch others with a click!

I am thankful for all of the wonderful people I can connect with daily...wherever they may be in the world.....and for all of the wonderful things they do! I appreciate the incredible talent that is out there!

I am thankful for all of the things that I have...material and otherwise...some things are worth more even if they have no monetary value.

Reflection ... remembrance ... and realization ... keep me real!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Twilight 4

We had our Thanksgiving dinner tonight .... mmm .... ham & fixin's! Had to have a wee nap after that. Now up & bloggin'!

For those of you who asked...yes there will be a full pic of this block...but up until today I didn't have one. My sis snapped a few shots of it but still needs to download from her camera...so possibly tomorrow.
Am off to stitch for a while.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Twilight in the Fairy Glen - Part 3

It's Thanksgiving weekend north of the border ... and I lucked out ... as it's my weekend off...so 3 days of R&R! Plan to get some stitching done!

Part 3 of this block shows the lower left corner.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my CDN friends!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Twilight in the Fairy Glen - Part 2

Had the day off yesterday and actually got some stitching done. I have some ideas happening for the article piece and worked on turning them into ribbon.

As I spent my time playing...I have to get cracking on work schedule this morning, but wanted to share the second part of the block shown yesterday.

This is the top left corner. The Dragonfly was my first stumpwork piece...took hours to do...but turned out great...I was really pleased with it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

NEW - 2 SRE Patterns Now Up!

Finally...I have two new SRE patterns up and available!

Click the link at right sredeluxe 2 U to see them!

Watch for more coming soon!

Wow...Has It Been Almost a Week?

Time sure flies! It's been almost a whole week since my last post...mostly because work has sucked up all my energy...leaving me drained of ambition to do anything but relax when I had the chance to stop.

Did find a bit of time to play with the lovely ribbon pack that I received from Vikki...letting the feel of the ribbon and the awesome colours seep into my creative mind...and waiting for the vision...I can feel it forming!

Also finished up an article for the next issue of CQ Mag...so watch for it when the issue is out.

Now I know you all need your regular fix of eye candy...so thought I'd show the first of several scans of a CQ project that I did about five or six years ago...that I sent in as my entry for the Quilting Arts Calendar Contest. Didn't win a spot in it...but it was one of my fave pieces...as I did a lot of innovative stuff on it.

I called this one "Twilight in the Fairy Glen". This is the top right corner. I used a bunch of charms...moon...stars...fairies and such...as well as sequin stars and lots of metallic threads. It's more of a CQ landscape than a block.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Had a Great Day .... and The Winner Is....

There is one thing about birthdays that I never get tired of....the cake!
Chocolate Fantasia Mousse! .... Mmmmmm!

Spent the day playing...and treated myself to a new birthday do! Made a yummy dinner....roasted chicken, mashed potatoes & a tomato-cucumber salad with creamy dill dressing.

Kids got me some Turtles...and a whole bunch of scented candles...which I always have going on my desk when I'm working (or playing).

After dinner....I folded up each name that I printed on slips of paper...and put them in a bowl...since I don't have any suitable hats...and had Melanie pick out one name!

And the winner is ....

Debbie (Maine) ... The Empress !

So Debbie....drop me a line at : sredeluxe@rogers.com with your snail address...and I'll get your prize on it's way!

Thanks all of you for the birthday good wishes....must say I had fun with the Tarot Card thing ... and glad you all did too.

I found it interesting that out of 15 entries...that there were 6 Empresses....so I'm in good company!

Am looking forward to the Second Annual draw next year!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Last Chance for BD Draw!

Time is quickly running out to enter the BD Draw.....you still have tonight...and will do the draw after dinner tomorrow...so will include anyone who adds their name before then.

Got a couple of BD surprises today! Received a package from Vikki Clayton full of wonderful ribbons! It will be her ribbons that I use for the magazine article!

I have tomorrow off and am looking forward to playing with these to decide which ones I will select for the project...hoping that with them in front of me that I will get that "vision" thing happening....have had several glimpses of ideas...but need to see it in one complete mental picture....then I'll put the blinders on!

Also...as a thank-you for a great score on our recent Store Report, our dealer gave all managers a gift card for a family dinner out! That was wonderful...as it was a total surprise!

Well...off to play for a bit! Have cleared my list of obligations so that I can enjoy my day!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Looking For One Thing ... & Found Another!

After reading a list post from Barb E down in TX...I was dismayed to find out that Nora's health is declining...and decided to make a card to send her.

I sifted through my embossing templates...and then decided I'd like to do a heart one....but wouldn't ya know it....the heart templates weren't in the bag with the others...so I started hunting.

In the back of one drawer...I came across a small pink bag. I usually use clear zip-locks to put things in so I can see what's inside...so wondered what the ?

When I opened it up...there was a huge gob of silk ribbon ... over 40 yards...that I had ordered from Vikki Clayton...five years and one day ago exactly! I don't even remember what I had in mind to use them for.....but picked out some of them to use for Nora's card! So...it was a timely find.

I did find the heart templates too...not where they should have been...but have now been put in with the rest. I did scan a pic of the finished card...and will show it at a later date...once Nora has had a chance to see it first.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Okay....Let's Have Some Birthday FUN !

October 1st is my birthday...but the older I get...the less I seem to look forward to them, so I thought I'd do something different this year.....something fun!

I was recently reminded of a life-changing event that happened to me when a dear ol' e-friend....Nora Creeach....had a draw to celebrate her birthday one year....and I won! She sent me a gift that sparked a revelation....& finally unleashed the designer in me! I am eternally grateful to her for that!

Rissa recently commented that it'd be a great tradition to continue...I thought so too!

Henceforth...following her lead...I plan to make this an annual tradition!

So....here's the fun part!

On the post below...there is a link to take a short test to find out
"What Tarot Card Are You?"

Simply leave a comment on this post with what Tarot Card you are...to be automatically be entered in my Birthday Draw!

I'll put all the names in a hat...& the winner will be announced
October 1st!

(PS...new stuff up on sredeluxe2U...and more coming soon!)

What Tarot Card are You?

The Empress

You are The Empress
Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.
The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents, beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.
The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.
What Tarot Card are You?Take the Test to Find Out.

Thanks Rissa for the Tarot Card test.
We are both Empresses!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Tisket, A Tasket

I found another basket!

This one was made into a card insert...and was one of my faves. I see the ribbon is variegated and think it may have come from my source back then...Eloise Gomez. I've lost touch with her over the years and I don't think she's dyeing ribbon any more...but they sure were pretty!

The embossed cards ... were an all-time favourite item ordered from my web site back when I was in full production...and the completed designs sold incredibly well in my booth too!

A full time job just doesn't leave me any time to create these any longer...but I am contemplating putting templates & instructions up on "sredeluxe2U" ... for those who might like to create them too. I have about 30 various designs....ranging from small trim patterns to special occasions (Christmas & Valentines) as well as shapes (like the fan one shown with the Tiny Tassel). They are fun and functional. No-one will throw these cards away...they'll want to keep it and/or frame the face as art!

The card is the gift!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Show & Share - More Alton Loops

I was sure I had more pics of pieces that were done using the Loop...and found a some.

The first is another using Variation # 4. This one shows the lovely rich colour of Vikki Clayton's Pansy ribbon! I love how the shades blend and flow...gives such a lovely finished effect...kind of like Mother Nature herself might do it!

The second was one of a large series of pins I've done over the years...Basket Bouquets. One such design was the focus of my third article in Piecework/NeedleWorker.

Here Variation # 2 - a floral spike was done in the pink ribbon.

That wee basket charm is one of my absolute favourites. It can always inspire a design, & I always have a bunch on hand.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

More From the Drag Bag

First off...a thought hit me as I looked at my last post ... I should have gone with small photos...as the actual pieces weren't quite that BIG.

Moving on. DH did indeed have someting else plugged in the scanner port...but kindly fixed that for me and I got a few scans done.

Wrought iron has alway intrigued me...if there is any one trade I'd love to learn it's that...but at this point in my life I can't see that happening...so I will be content to stitch it instead.

To begin with, I created an ornate trellis on the back side of the Drag Bag, only to realize that it looked like a sore thumb...so decided to tie it in to a larger picture. At the bottom edge you'll see some scallops. These continue around the top edge of the bottom darker section...and the front has a large scrolled section...with two smaller panels on the side seams (all of which are still works in progress...or were...before I had to set the project on the back burner). The trellis is situated between the two pockets.

Decided to cover the back trellis in a climbing rose vine. There's three yards of ribbon in them roses...and nearly as much in the leaves. I like it...and planning on doing more of them on the others...maybe mixed with some other flora.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Show & Share - BIG Blooms

After a busy week, I was hoping to take time today to scan in a couple of things...but...DH seems to have unplugged it (or it got accidentally pulled out) and I'm not sure where it is supposed to go in the back of the Box. So ... again I had a look through my pic files and found a few things to share.

The third article that I had published (in Piecework / NeedleWorker) was a Silk Ribbon Basket Brooch, and featured another stitch I created called the Alton Loop. It came about during my frustrated attempts to make Loop flowers...which I liked...and wanted to make, but somehow always managed to mess up...because I'd end up pulling one or more of them through accidentally.

You can see how to create the Alton Loop and all variations at:
http://sredeluxe.tripod.com/ ... click on Stitch Directions.

Variation # 4 ... done in 4mm ribbon resembles a Yellow Marigold. Depending on the colour and width of ribbon you choose to use, you can achieve different flowers!

Here you see 7mm used ... Deep Wine for the Dahlia, Tangerine for the Orange Marigold, and a variegated Pink for the Peony. Ribbons used were all YLI and each of these were made into pins that were worn by their staff who worked in their booth at trade shows.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Porthole # 40

Last but not least # 40 began with a Free Form piece in navy AB beads. I added the turquoise Cretan in YLI Silk 30 and added Colonial knots at the ends. Beside that I stitched a spray of Griffin Buds using YLI Silk 30 for the stems & sepals and Ribbon Floss for the leaves. Opposite I backstitched a line of scallops in pink Pearl Crown Rayon, whip stitched over it and added a cast-on scallop at each point, then repeated the pattern reversed in the purple Pearl Crown. Below that I used blue Ribbon Floss to make the bullion stitch cording, and then light blue to do a zigzag chain with Colonial knots filling the centres. Added the single black lace rose and tatted a small purple butterfly to finish!

As I mentioned before...I may decide to make this a larger piece in future. If and when I do, you can be sure I'll share those with you.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Needle Pulling Thread

I'm not much of a book & magazine person ... but recently much to my surprise I was enlightened by Mary Anne that there existed here in Canada a magazine that is published to showcase Canadian needle artists!

Okay....who's paying attention now? Me...me...me! So I Googled it...and right there at the top of the page: A Needle Pulling Thread! (I love the name...very clever...and appropo).

For those who had not ( like me ) heard about this mag...here's their link:
http://www.aneedlepullingthread.com/ . You must go see! It's like Stitchin Fingers ... all forms of needlework ... in one spot!

I sent an e-mail off to the editor on Monday...to introduce myself...and she returned my note Tuesday...and we have since chatted and/or e-mailed daily!

I decided I had to see this magazine first hand...so took a trip over to a little shop in the Mall (where I have purchase other needle art publications) and there it was...the last copy of the Summer issue...waiting just for me!

I took it home and went through it cover to cover several times...checking out the articles...admiring the obvious love & care that has gone into the layout....it is very well done...the type of high class presentation that can make your work look fabulous!

After clarifying and verifying ... and a bit of brainstorming ... Carla and I have agreed that I shall be one of their featured artists in the Summer 2009 issue!

And there's that feeling again....that ride on Cloud 9....giddy and lighter in step...smiling from ear to ear......anticipation!

This will be my 5th published piece ... so feeling very much the seasoned pro here....but as anxious as the first time....and as thankful as I am to all those magazines that featured me in past...I'm proudly looking forward to my first time in a Canadian publication!

The only thing I will share with you about it ... is that it will be SRE ...
5-Star Deluxe SRE !

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Announcing ... sredeluxe 2 U !

Ladies and Gentleman!

It is with great pleasure that I tell you ... I now have patterns up & available!
I have created a second blog for this purpose specifically (until such time as my web mistress can revamp my other site).

http://sredeluxe2u.blogspot.com is officially up ... and my first offering ... is the long-awaited Deluxe Ornament Covers ... with a BONUS add-on set of Deluxe Free Form Embellishments!

I've also begun work on revising some SRE patterns and will have a few up & available shortly.

I thank you for your patience...I know it's been a long wait...but I'm "back in the saddle again"....and looking forward to the ride!

Hugs ... Marie

Monday, September 1, 2008

Porthole # 39

For the second last in the series I began with another oriental fabric. I added a "Cherries & Leaves" Free Form piece, stitched a climbing French Knot rose bush, then added a small tree on the opposite side. Last I worked some Lazy Daisy fronds along the top seam.

I'm still undecided if I'll stop at 40...it was my original target...but may decide to go bigger. Will take a break from it for now...as other things are waiting.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Porthole # 38

Finally got the last 3 in the series scanned in!
# 40 I just finished last night...so wanted to wait until it was complete before scanning the rest.

I like # 38 ... it is one of my personal faves. It began with two Free Form pieces...a medallion and line of paired leaves in similar colours. I added pale butter yellow French Knot Roses and greenery to the inner ring of the medallion & gold Ribbon Floss to make bullion florettes between the leaves. On the black patch I used more Ribbon Floss for the line of Herringbone, then embellished the top with white Lazy Daisy Bullion Tips (with a fill-in stitch) and the bottom with a straight tacking stitches & Colonial Knots. Above that more LDBTs in deep honey Silk Ribbon with Fly Stitch / Twisted Stem and Ribbon Stitch leaves. Last but not least I added the three fern-like leaves in pale green YLI 1000 Denier Silk.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Time Flies ... But I'm Grounded

Wow...has it really been a whole week since I did a post?
I swear...I do not know where this week has gone...or this month for that matter!

It's a rough time of year for me at work ... trying to figure out who I'm losing (heading off to or back to university) and whoever is left...what they can work in and around school...and hoping it'll be enough so that I have the coverage I need.

Yesterday I had a special treat ... I ran into Diane Matheson (who lives quite close to me...a couple of kms away). I recognized her at one of the cashes (from her Stitchin Fingers pic) and we chatted for a good while! We've e-mailed back and forth for some time now but this was the first time we met in person.

I know today is really Tuesday....but for me it's Saturday.

Like I explained in the "Friday on Monday" post...this happens frequently to me!
I've been a busy li'l beaver...getting some organizing done on my plans to get those patterns happening! I realized earlier this week that one reason for the hold up was a slight error in my planning...which took extra effort afterward to compensate for. Suffice it to say ... it grounded me ... almost to a halt ... but am gaining on it now!

I'm more focused on this...because I know that time is flying ... it does not wait for anyone...no, not even me...so gotta make sure it doesn't fly right out my "window of oportunity"! I'll have pretty much all I need organized this week...and will share my big news shortly!

This diversion has pretty much stifled my stitching...although I did put a couple hours in on Porthole # 40. So...no scanning done...and the Drag Bag is now on hold for a bit.

Well ... can't have you all going into "eye candy withdrawal" ... so until I have more to show on the current projects ... will find some bits and pieces to share.

Melanie Rose Sachets ... in Wisteria , Nectarine and Rose.
Ribbons by Vikki Cayton

(These were a very popular kit series for me many years ago. While I no longer have the time to do kits ... the contemplation is there to revise them into pattern only for release. Seems there are not many SRE patterns out there to be had.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Show & Share - Tooth Fairy Pouches

The regular projects I've been sharing are either "waiting to be scanned" or "not ready yet"...so I scrolled through my files to see what might be fun to show you...'cause I know ya gotta have that eye candy!

I came across a couple or three wee gems...these go back about ten years. I started out making a couple for my own two kids. I found it far too taxing to be a stealthy tooth fairy...feeling around under a pillow for a small thing wrapped in a tissue...all the time hoping the little angel stayed asleep!

The pouch made it so much easier...we took to hanging them on the bed post...so the fairy could simply slip it off , do the swap and flit away. Sold a few to staff at work and several at the craft booth too...real popular with Moms and Grandmas.

They all started with the same wee fairy...which I finished with either clear or coloured nail polish... then stitched a small floral spray around it. Many of them featured that lovely gold cording...found it at Mokuba in Toronto (man that's an amazing store!) Finished size was about 2.5 - 3" x 5".

I think I even penned a poem insert that I put in with them...but don't think I still have it...and don't recall the poem now.

Anyway ... enjoy!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bloggin' About . . . New Faves

I have been checking out many new blogs...or should I say blogs that are new to me!

Some are gals I've rubbed e-shoulders with over the years ... others are new aquaintances met recently (especially on Stitchin' Fingers) and even more that I just kinda happened upon from other bloggers faves.

I've added a few more to my faves list recently so that I can stop in when time permits to see what others are bloggin' about...always entertaining and a good way to get a calorie-free dose of eye candy!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Porthole # 37

Porthole # 37 began with the addition of the Free Form piece...the Navy Aurora Borealis beads have hints of the other fabric shades...so a nice fit.

Across from that I stitched a row of Herringbone (Pearl Crown Rayon) finished off along the bottom seam edge with whipstitched backstitching. At the top edge I made small cross-stitches at the X points then added small cranberry Lazy Daisy Filled stitch to finish.

The pink winding - thing is a row backstitch...whipstitched...then cast-on stitches on the outer edge.

Lastly I added the spray of pale lilac Lazy Daisy Bullion Tip flowers with feather stitch and ribbon stitch greenery.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I'm Baaack...Early

Hi kids ... did ya miss me? I missed you too!

Got my wires crossed with DH...I was thinking we were staying until Sunday, but apparently there are other people heading up to stay the weekend. We left about mid-day so it'd be vacant for them. I am still off until Monday either way...I can stitch here just as easily!

And stitch I did...as much as the boys fished!

Paul just shakes his head when I show up with as much stitching stuff as clothing! But we won't even talk about how much tackle and how many rods it takes to fish for a week...will we?!!

Without going into too much detail...because pictures will save me typing a thousand words...I will simply say that I have added a whole bunch of wrought iron work to the bag. One trellis that I started has since become embellished with a vine of roses...and I thought it'd be cool to add more iron work to tie it in...then I got carried away.....but I like it! Still a lot of work to do on it yet...because after I finish the iron I still want to add climbers to it...so am contemplating that as I work.

The northern element never disappoints! Aside from a bit of rain and a big thunder storm...we had an enjoyable stay...the resident hummingbirds alone are worth the trip...then at night there's those cool owl sounds...and the loons! The mosquitos were not very bothersome...think I only got two bites.

I always love the nightly fire...those flames are so mesmerizing! There's no TV or video games...just the radio...and the station out of Peterborough is really good...playing old & new rock. Even the commercials sound different.

But the city does have it's advantages...like cable...and once home I tuned in to one of the music channels....getting classic rock hits... with no commercials! I'm good with that...and I couldn't have picked a better play list...excellent!

So...laundry is now all done...and I will relax and stitch some more tomorrow. The kitties are glad we're home...and have been close company all day. Poor Kota has not been without us for more than a day and he was very happy to have us home.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Porthole # 36

Finally ... a week off to relax! This is my last vacation week of the year and will be heading up to a friend's cottage to chill...and stitch...stitch...stitch!

Before I go I wanted to share the next Porthole...# 36.

I started by adding the pink - pointed Free Form piece. There was a small bit of the centre fabric with two people figures that I wanted to add...so decided to make a "button". I gathered the fabric over a small disc of hard plastic (cut from a spent gift card). I created the beaded medallion to fit exactly around it and couched both to the fabric, then stitched the blue metallic beads into the centre of each loop.

Next I added the half wheels in Gold Candlelight...ands some vines in Midnight...and some feather stitch sprigs in black Kreinik #4 trimmed with Ruby #4 Lazy Daisy stitches.

Last I added the blue Ribbon Floss seam...a new stitch to me...and now I forget what the heck it was called! Will have to check back to the book...but later.

I'll be back on the 17th and post more then. See ya!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Porthole # 35

I began this one with the navy lace motif & then added the white leaves Free Form piece to counter balance. While not very visible...I added some buds between the leaves using Candlelight Midnight. Next I added some Lazy Daisy Bullion Tip silk ribbon leaves and some vines around the motif and finished off with the gold seam in Ribbon Floss.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Food For Thought - Natural Backyard Splendour

I spent some time this afternoon absorbing some natural things around me. It never ceases to amaze me how nature just carries on in spite of us...doing what it will in it's own little way.

We have a couple of bird feeders that Paul made years ago from recycled pallet wood...very cool... rustic. About 3 years ago in the spring ... one sat empty...until new tennants moved in.

Yellow Jacket wasps found it a perfect spot to create a nest! The front has an acrylic panel that by design was meant to show the level of bird food inside. To the wasps...it meant protection from the elements and enemies. Over the past years...they have returned and expanded the nest. At times there are 30 or more busy workers doing their thing...building it bigger and hatching the next generation. Weird to watch all of this happening behind a clear shield...and fascinating to see how such small creatures work as a team to build such a natural wonder!
(I must get Mel to get some pics of it...it's really awesome!)

And then there's this other backyard resident ... a young raccoon has made a home in our tree. We can see it really well from Melanie's bedroom window...I'm thinking it's a male...so I will refer to it as "him". How strange it is to watch him sleep in the crook of two branches! How is it that he never falls? He sleeps all day and then come dusk he wakes up and grooms himself...getting ready for his nightly escapades...whatever they may be...off to find some food and play with fellow racoons in the neighbourhood.

Recently I have noticed new things growing from a small compost area against the fence. This happens annually...as we tend to place old pumpkins from Halloween there...and other stuff. The leaves I'm seeing are not the usual pumpkins...maybe other small gourds that ended up there? Will have to see if anything developes...usually the bugs or a fungus gets to them and nothing developes...maybe this year will be different.

Birds...there are always a lot of them around...a variety of species...robins, blue jays, chickadees, blackbirds, sparrows, finches, waxwings, junkos, cardinals, mourning doves, starlings...and out in the field hawks, turkey vultures, crows and killdeers. I think in the next life I'd like to come back as a bird...think of the freedom! Flying would be awesome!

Spiders are another residential group that intrigue me...especially their web creation! It's not a wonder that many of us CQers add them to our work...they are way cool! Different species make different webs...some are the traditional type...with small threads making a dimensional web...but others make a mat-type web that is more elaborate...and seems it'd snare more food. I sometimes have to demolish them when I need to get yardwork done...and while this distresses me...I have no doubt that they'll be built again quickly! That's nature for ya!

Mother Nature is amazing!

Beads & Leaves & Vines ... Oh My!

It's funny how that happens ... I'll be working away on some project then all of a sudden ... my brain gets an idea ( or five ) for something else!

I was working away on my Drag Bag when bead thoughts entered my mind. I have made a few pieces with leaves...but then another idea came into focus...and better still how to make it work. I played with it using some of these new dollar store ones (they are not very uniform...but the colour was way cool...lemony glass with a green lining)...and it turned out quite interesting.

Then...because I wanted to see how it'd work out using better (uniform) beads...I did a second one using green beads with a copper lining.

I know this design is going to become a fave of mine...I love beaded vines because they "travel" so nicely & can be further embellished with buds or blooms.

I like a design even more when it is versatile. I'm showing three variations of each piece...leaves all to one side...leaves flipped to alternate sides...and curving.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Food for Thought - Friday on Monday ... It's a Good Thing!

I have never much liked Mondays...typically because they are the beginning of a work week...but lately I've had to work weekends to cover for staff away on holidays...so that forces me to take mid-week days off. It usually works out to be Tuesday & Wednesday that are my days off...so Monday is actually my Friday...and that is just fine by me! Makes it a whole lot easier to take.

I've just passed the 6 year anniversary in my current position...and my how time flies when you're having fun!?? For those who have never worked retail...it may be hard for you to fathom all of the stress that is involved. Every day brings new challenges...with staff, customers, theft, fraudulent activity, even the weather...and how it affects the whole enchillada.

From my perspective...I realize that I have become a bit callous over the years...cynical even. A lot of today's consumers remind me of spoiled brats...expecting us to do what they dictate...and if we don't...well then that's just bad "customer service". They argue and stomp feet and whine. Pulease!

Is it so hard to understand that manufacturers are the ones who uphold warranties on their product? If there is a problem with an item...it might require us to follow their directions...to contact them directly for customer support. It is not always a simple process of replacing a unit or giving money back.

I dealt with one lady a week ago who was adamant that I'd be out of a job on Monday...because of how I "treated" her...even though she was totally out of line. She wanted the Customer Service number for our Head Office...and my name and position...and boy was I in trouble!

When I reiterated the whole incident to my boss ... saying gee ... I guess you have to fire me... he just laughed & told me ... that I wasn't getting off that easy! Go figure! I'm still standing!

TGIF...especially when it's on Monday!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

No. 100 - Porthole # 34

Wow...100 blogisms! Nowhere near MA who is close to 600...but then I only started this year!

Porthole # 34 is a bit of whimsy. I started with the addition of a Free Form beaded embellishment and went from there..adding in a whole bunch of French Knot roses mixed with some blue buds. Next I added the seam above it in blue Silk 30...a Herringbone base embellished. Above that I added long & short LDs, tacking the long ones together at the mid-points to open them up. On the green patch I used some Candlelight Midnight to stitch some travelling vinery...then lastly used some gold Ribbon Floss for the fans with LD points.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Drag Bag - Other Bits

Have another couple or three pics of stitching done on the bag. Above the monogram there are more sprigs growing out of the pocket.

One of the front pockets was trimmed on the edge & has a teeny floral spray on the inside pocket.

By the time I got to the other pocket I had thought more about those cool Bullion Roses made with Ribbon Floss...but couldn't decide on a few colours...so opted for one of each...a rainbow of roses! Finished off the pocket of this one too of course.

This Banner Thing

Can anyone instruct me how to get this banner (below) situated in the right hand section?
The code thing is not my forte...not sure where the heck to add to make it work!

Thanks !

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Other Pocket

The monogram pocket was not where I began on my Drag Bag. I spent hours & hours creating this huge floral spray on the right hand side. Above that I worked Feather Stitch vines coming out of the pocket, and added a Cast-on Stitch flower at each point. These were worked with VC Hand-dyed Silk Perle #12 in Nectarine. The French Knot roses at the bottom is the same colour in silk ribbon.
As I want to be able to wash this bag occasionally...I decided to stick to silks, rayons and polyester (Jeans Stitch). I used a whole lot of Ribbon Floss...and was particularly thrilled at how it worked for the Bullion Roses! The density and definition is way cool. I liked it so much that I did another spray of them on another pocket...but we'll get to that another day.

Porthole # 33

I began this one by adding the beaded Free Form piece. The purple and gold fit well and the size was just right for that seam. On that shocking green patch I worked a double row of Herringbone and did some tacking work in crosses; to finish off the bottom I worked a line of Cast-on stitch scallops. The whole thing is done in Pearl Crown rayon.

Directly opposite on the purple patch is another row of Herringbone...this time in silk. Added small LDs to the ends for leaves and some bullion buds.

Next I filled in the gold patch with some LDBT buds and greenery SRE. Added some purple vines & leaves on the rust patch then finished off with a spray of gold...simple running stitch enhanced with Colonial knots.

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