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The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest ~ Sir Thomas Moore ~

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Garden walk ...

Nature often holds up a mirror
so we can see more clearly
the ongoing process
 of growth,
in our lives
~Mary Ann Brussat~
Celebrating Faith, Family and Friends this Easter Weekend.
~Wishing you a Blessed Easter~
♥ D

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

today ...

One of my favourite breakfasts - steel cut oatmeal, with milk, brown sugar, a sprinkling of cinnamon and almonds...

followed by toast & butter made from hubby's freshly baked bread.
my idea of the perfect day ... pens
paint & paper in front of me
cup of tea beside me
and my dog by my feet ♥
I finished my little crocheted rock cover ...
My 'guiding word' for Twenty Thirteen
I arise today
through the
strength of heaven,
light of sun,
radiance of moon,
splendor of fire,
speed of lightening,
swiftness of wind,
depth of sea,
stability of earth,
firmness of rock
~Celtic Prayer~
The Deer's Cry
Still lots of snow on the hiking path.
  At home, we spotted the first Robin of Spring and our 'resident' doves have returned to our garden ♥

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday ...

Quiet and calm as we walked today ...
Only a few traces of snow left behind now ...

The first birds of Spring Twenty Thirteen :-)

This little fellow wasn't afraid at all as I got closer and closer...

and it was so nice to hear the gentle cooing of the Doves.
Have a wonderful weekend ♥
Each of us
is an artist of our days.
The greater integrity and  awareness,
the more original and creative our time will become.
~John O'Donohue~

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

March Journal ...

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW~ Tiny little snowflakes are dancing about.
I AM THINKING~ How pretty the Rascal Flatts song "What hurts the most" is playing in the background.
I AM THANKFUL~ For the mug of hot tea I have in front of me. Just returned home from walking & it was cold.
IN THE KITCHEN~ Fresh homemade bread & walnut scones sit on the counter.
I AM WEARING~ Cotton yoga jacket, long sleeve tee & jeans.
I AM CREATING~ An Easter tree using pussy willow branches from our garden.
I AM GOING~ To sit and finish Week 11 of "52 Lists" & add it to my "Project Life" binder.
I AM WONDERING~ What to make with some lovely Eco-fil  "Recycled earth-friendly yarn" I found the other day in the most gorgeous cadmium yellow.  Thinking of crocheting some rock covers.
I AM READING~ May I Be Happy ~ A memoir of Love, Yoga and Changing My Mind by Cyndi Lee.
I AM HOPING~ To hang the new wind chime we bought on a weekend getaway in New York from our pergola this week.  I love the sound of wind chimes.
I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO~ Seeing daffodils in my garden. Just a little teaser poking through the soil at the moment.
I AM PONDERING~ Changes for the kitchen. Happens every Spring :-)
A FAVOURITE QUOTE FOR TODAY~ May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder ~John O'Donohue
A FEW PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK~ Print photos on iron-on transfer sheets for the  baby quilt I'm making.
Determined to get an avocado pit to root :-)
Trying something different this time.  In stead of poking toothpicks into the pit to suspend, I found that the pit sits beautifully in a little brandy snifter. The shape of the snifter is perfect ~ wide bottom to hold plenty of water and a narrow top that keeps the pit in just enough water.  So far so good.  It has actually split like it is supposed to ...looking each day for that little tap root :-)
Happy Spring
Joining in with The Simple Woman's Daybook here.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Maple Syrup Days...

Hello ...
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
We spent our day @ the Maple Syrup Festival ~ a family tradition ...
Pancakes & fresh Canadian maple syrup, maple iced donuts, maple lollipops ...
we had a sweet Sunday :-)
Study nature,
love nature,
stay close to nature.
It will never fail you.
~Frank Lloyd Wright~

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dressed In White ...

I was thrilled when new Apron * ology Editor Andrea Rangno contacted me about writing a story for my Ruffles & Rosettes apron & as usual, equally thrilled when I saw the finished product.  As I was answering Andrea's questions, I began telling the story of my childhood cat as it was because I wanted to make a blanket for her basket  that I began sewing. 
 A few weeks ago, before my Apron*ology  issue arrived in the mail, my husband & I were out for the evening and found ourselves  in Chapters.  I smiled to see him walk over and pick up the Stampington issues that I was published in :-)
Even as a young child, I loved to sit with a needle and thread and create.  When I was 11, I decided that my beloved cat needed a blanket for her wicker basket, gathered up outgrown clothes I had, cut them into squares and hand stitched them together.  In some of the squares I embroidered her name, in another a little free hand drawn paw print, and a cat face with long threaded whiskers.
Andrea asked me what motivates me to create aprons & that's easy ... HOME.  My love of Home motivates me.  I don't want to have to take off my apron if the door bell rings, but rather wear an apron that, while a necessity in the kitchen can be pretty.
Blending function with fashion, pretty with practicality.
I feel nurturing your home and yourself go hand in hand.
 I try to re purpose as much as possible when creating anything, taking an inventory of what I already have stashed in my studio cupboard before buying anything new. 
Since sewing is not one of the handcrafts I am most proficient in, my first stop is the "reduced bin" at my local fabric shop.  I found both the 100% cotton and ruffled fabric in the sales bin AND there was an additional 50% off the last ticket price.  I love that! so I was able to make the entire apron for under $5.00.
I love the crisp white of the cotton and thought it would be lovely to blend it with flirty ruffles.
A chefs apron with a twist.
I used an apron I already had and found aesthetically pleasing in it's shape and style as a template, and a basket of rosettes I had made left over from another project, and the Ruffles & Rosettes apron came together quickly. Sentimentality always plays a big part in anything I create, and I used a lovely little white crocheted doilie ~ a gift from my friend Julie Marie and pinned it to the apron using a pin that was a gift from my daughter ♥
 And while I don't think of myself as anything but a novice on the sewing machine, it has a special spot in my studio so it's always available when a whim of inspiration comes over me :-)
Many Thanks to Apron*ology Editor Andrea Rangno for this wonderful article & Congratulations on your new position! Andrea's little girl models one of the aprons in the issue ~ adorable!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Gather what you love ...

In celebration of Daylight Savings Time, and as promised ...
here's how I made my Sparrow Gather Joy Satchel which can be found in the Winter Belle Armoire issue.
  The perfect travelling satchel for safekeeping all those found treasures. 
 Wear it wrapped across your body as you walk gathering up fallen gems that catch your eye along the way.  If you come across a particularly wonderful spot, find a lovely strong branch to hang your satchel from as you fill it.  Much nicer than filling up your pockets!
With the warmer weather soon approaching, I'll make another one to take on picnics to hold reading material ♥  They would make lovely Earth Day presents too {April 22}
Tools & Materials
Main fabric
Assorted decorative fabrics (perfect for using up all those little bits of scrap fabric left over from other projects)
Seam binding
Sewing Machine
Embroidery floss
Sewing needle
Small alphabet stamp set
Stamping ink
Sparrow stamp
Feather stamp
Lg button
OPTIONAL: fallen branch, hacksaw, drill (to create a wooden button)
Cut fabric for satchel 18" x 12", fold in half and press with an iron to create a seam. Open up fabric and fold over 1" press with iron to create a seam, and stitch along top.  Fold fabric back in half again as you will only be covering the front of the satchel with fabric and lace.
Cut out various shapes and sizes of decorative fabric and place on bag. When you have found a pleasing arrangement, pin in place and using sewing machine, stitch.
Fill in spaces here and there with lace to embellish.
On a small piece of burlap, sew on two buttons with embroidery floss and add to satchel.
On a small piece of fabric, stamp the word GATHER and on another small piece of fabric, stamp with Sparrow stamp.  Sew both to front of satchel.
Tear a long, thin strip of fabric and create a rosette by rolling and twirling fabric, adding a few stitches in place to hold and add to left hand side of satchel.  Embellish rosette with a small pearl to the center.
For the inside of the satchel, on a small piece of fabric, stamp the words GATHER JOY, and on another small piece of fabric, stamp a feather.  Stitch into place.
You are now ready to sew your satchel.  With right sides together, stitch along side and bottom, turn right side out.  Now it's time to add the straps.
To make the nice long straps, cut a strip of fabric 48" x 2".  Fold in half and stitch together.  Turn inside out and stitch along the two bottoms.  Attach to either side of satchel.
I often find lovely little twigs and branches with unusual twists and bends, and bring them home from my walks to place in vases.  They are  also wonderful for making  rustic buttons!  This is when I send "my ideas" out to my hubby's workshop :-)  He says they are super easy to make - here's how to create one.  Simply cut across branch using a hacksaw 1/8 " thick or more (to reduce the chance of snapping).  Use a drill to create 2 small holes.  Lightly sand to remove any sharp edges that could catch your clothing and attach to satchel using needle and embroidery thread. Create a small catching loop from seam binding and stitch to center of satchel.
I'm sharing a lovely quote by John O'Donahue ...
while it is wonderful in it's entirety, there is one particular line that I adored & will tuck inside my satchel  ~
May you listen to your longing to be free.
May the frames of your belonging be large enough for the dreams of your soul.
May you arise each day
with a voice of blessing
whispering in your heart ...
something good is going to happen to  you.
May you find harmony
between your soul and your life.
May the mansion of your soul never become a haunted place.
May you know the eternal longing that lies at the heart of time.
May there be kindness in your gaze when you look within.
May you never place walls between the light and yourself.
May you be set free from the prisons of guilt, fear, disappointment and despair.
May you allow the wild beauty of the invisible world
to gather you, mind you, and embrace you
in belonging.
~John O'Donahue~
I will share how to make a Sparrow "I hear you singing to my soul" key chain & "Fly on gentle wings" cuff bracelet (as seen in Belle Armoire Winter 2013)  soon.
♥Happy Gathering♥

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Texture Tuesdays ...

We have welcomed with love a new little link in the family chain ♥
Grandbaby #2!
For every child
born into the world
is a new incarnate thought of God
an ever fresh
and radiant
~Kate Douglas Wiggin~
Two day old toes :-)
Texture : Kim Klassen - Providence
Linking with Texture Tuesday today.