Detail from "Rain Dance," an original quilt by Sherrie Spangler

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Cheers and Happy New Year!

What better way to end the year than with the sentiment on this mug. Carolynn gave everyone in our Sew Day group one, and I love it!

Cheers to all my wonderful wacky women (and men) friends, those I know in person and those who I only know through the blog and Facebook. I treasure every one of you.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Little gifts I made

Now that I've presented all of my handmade gifts, I can finally show you what I was working on. First up are embroidered wool needle cases that I made for my STITCH group. I appliquéd hearts and leaves onto a wool background and embellished them with embroidery and beading.

Next are the "Wish Birds" (from a Valerie Wells pattern) that I made for my Sew Day friends. There's a little pocket on the back to hold wishes written down on scraps of paper.

Finally, I made a wool candle mat for my daughter. I switched up the pattern by making the little black bunny running opposite from everyone else to represent our obstinate 10-year-old black rabbit, Bunners. The others are rabbits past and present in my daughter's life -- Charlie, Bailey, Frankie and Bobby.

Have a colorful day

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

This and that

The past week has been a blur of holiday parties, with Christmas Eve being an eight-hour celebration at Paula and Duane's house. These are just a few of the appetizers. The weather outside was misty and chilly.

The rain and mist left overnight, and Christmas Day saw a stunningly clear, brilliant morning with a feeding frenzy behind our house, below. Hundreds of sea gulls circled while sea lions arched out of the water and barked. The commotion drew human families -- some still in pajamas -- up and down the beach out onto their decks to take videos and pictures. We watched for a good hour. Our next-door neighbor, who has lived here for decades, said it was the first time he had seen sea lions rear out of the water and bark here. 

Much later, after things outside had calmed down, our lasagne dinner had been eaten, the company had left, and the sun had set, I snuggled with little Charlie the bunny for another hour on the couch. 

Today, the daughter and rabbits went home, Dave went back to work, and things got back to normal as I sewed at Comfort Quilts. Here's the top I pieced, using the brightest colors we had. 

Next up is a round of New Year's Eve parties, then I really have to buckle down and get back to work in the studio.

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Wooly bird bag completed

I just put the finishing stitches into the wool bird appliqué for the front of my new sewing kit.

The bag has clear zippered pouches for all of my wool appliqué supplies. The appliqué pattern is from Wendy Williams' "Wild Blooms and Colorful Creatures" book.

Have a colorful day

Monday, December 19, 2016

Bunnies on the blog

Julia brought my grandbunnies home for Christmas and we took their picture under the tree last night. That's Bunners, our 10-year-old little lady, on the left. Charlie is squished in the middle, and Bailey is on the right.

From up above they look like three loaves of bread in a basket. And the next picture has them being photo bombed by Hammy the hamster! It's going to be a fun, furry week.

Have a colorful day

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Tacoma Zoo Lights

Rendition of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in lights.

I shivered through the zoo last night with Dawn,
looking at half a million lights.

Mt. Rainier and reindeer.
Every year, the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium transforms into a winter wonderland. It was my first time to see the lights, although I'd been hearing about them ever since I moved here.

It was about 24 degrees, which is REALLY cold for Tacoma.
Here are just a few of the photos I took.

 Have a colorful night

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Another year for STITCH

Yesterday was our annual STITCH holiday potluck at Karen's house, and we did a toast to our friendship -- going into its sixth year -- and to remember those who weren't able to be there.

This year we were treated to a cello performance by Andrea, who recently started taking lessons after being away from playing music for decades. Yay, Andrea!

Karen's table is always beautifully set for us. She also has an amazing Christmas village that she puts out every year and I always take a picture of the needlework shop. Show and tell and a discussion of plans for the coming year rounded out a great day.

Have a colorful day

Monday, December 12, 2016

Another little wool project

It's cold, rainy and grey -- time for another colorful wool project. I'm stitching these little birds to sew on the front of a sewing kit, following this pattern ...

... from this book, "Wild Blooms & Colorful Creatures" by Wendy Williams.

Here's how it looks outside today. Luckily, I got to spend the day stitching with the Woolies in Pam's  colorful, cozy living room surrounded by everyone's colorful projects. Here's the link to my first post about the Woolies:

Have a colorful day

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Lights, lights, lights!

I had a request to show this year's lights, so here they are in all their twinkly glory. We hang them all along the inside of the dining room and living room windows, plus put them on little trees clustered in the corners. They sure brighten up the night, and because they're reflected in the windows it looks like we have twice as many!

The shot below shows the little area where I hand sew in my favorite wicker chair, looking out over the water. Even on a grey day the water is still calming.

The next shot shows the Christmas basket quilt that I made last month, inspired by Gwen Marston's quilt in "Liberated Quiltmaking II."

My new lights this year are battery-operated flickering candles that I found on Amazon at a great price. I bought two sets of three, then I found some thinner ones for really cheap and bought a set of them. You can never have too many candles on a winter night.

Here is my favorite snowman feeding the birds, which I bought many years ago at a Christmas craft fair in Rockford, IL. The chickadee wool appliqué is the piece I just finished last month.

This chili wreath came from Pike Place Market last month. It's drying out nicely and is completely edible. The chilies are from a farm in eastern Washington.

So there you have it -- this year's lights! 

If you're interested in last year's lights post, click here:

Have a bright night

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Feeling blessed

I feel rich with friends as I write out nearly 100 holiday cards this weekend. A lot of people look at sending out the cards as a chore, but I love picking just the right photo for the front of the card, composing a newsletter, coordinating the return address labels and stamps (yes, I'm THAT person) and feeling the satisfaction of taking a big pile of cards to the post office. With every envelope I address, I think of good times with that particular friend or relative. Then I eagerly await return cards telling me what's been going on with everyone across the country over the past year.

This year we couldn't get the whole family together for a photo, so I used one of my daughter looking out at the water with the sun on her shoulders and a gleaming Mt. Rainier on the horizon. In the dead of winter I figure it will bring some sparkle to the holidays. (And it only cost a penny for each photo at snapfish with a coupon.)

I found stamps of songbirds in the snow, as well as some traditional Christmas stamps. 

I'm also feeling rich as I pack homemade presents for my various groups of friends. Sorry, I can't show you any of these gifts but they've been keeping me busy in the sewing room.

Here are some other glimpses around the living room, which will stay decorated into February because I need the lights, candles and cheerfulness during the dark Northwest winter days and nights.


Have a colorful day