The Turning of the Year...

Although I generally will not write too much about really personal stuff, I will say that the past year has been one of stultifying pain and sadness in my heart. I decided to get involved with my blog in order to distract my thoughts into a more positive direction.

I'm working on a piece (for something). Well, I'm working on lots of things, but this piece, I think, will join the past year with the coming, and return my focus more clearly to creativity. It's to be called "Sorrow Dances".

Tomorrow, there will be pictures. DH gave me a new camera -- let's all join in with a heartfelt YAY!! and tomorrow, there will be introductions for TAST (Take-A-Stitch Tuesday) run by Sharon Boggon, and WISP (Works In Slow Progress) Wednesday, put together by Sandy. Many people have blogged their year-past creations...I will post my year-to-come projects. There is a STRONG current throughout the creative blog community towards finishing that which was begun, clearing the boards, etc. It speaks to the makings of a lively year here in our community, one which will be both interesting and inspirational for all.

So, today, I wish everyone the magic and fulfillment of the Eve of the New Year, and I wish you clarity of your soul's sight with verve and enthusiasm in your heart for each moment of the day in which you find yourself being.

I was told recently that from great pain comes great joy...and joy is to be shared from the heart. So I do believe that this *will* be the year that Sorrow Dances.

Heartfelt regards and peaceful wishes from Sarah


and BACK to the Program...

Ok, here's the last one for the moment. I can either sit here and post a gazillion pix (I know, I know, we ALL love pics!), or I can go do some work after this and post more Tuesday or Wednesday..well, we all know what Wednesday is, so at the very *latest*, I'll put up some more piccies then. Anyway, in my (don't laugh) spare time (IS there such a thing???), I have also become interested in goddess dolls. You just saw the large one I'm about to attempt. This small one is my first attempt at beading. The photo is horrible -- the beads are a lovely shade of grass green, and you can't even see the white beads I've started using for the head. *sigh*. The pattern is available at Kivett Studios, listed there on my sidebar. Ronda is a very talented artist and is quite gracious with her free patterns. She has more than one small goddess doll pattern, so you may want to print one off and try it yourself. (NAYY!) Although you can't tell since my piano bench is my photo-table, the actual pattern shown is only about 4", if that.

We Interrupt This Program ~~

I have a bad habit of surfing around while waiting for an editing or whatever action to complete. This area, somewhat rural, is still on Dial-Up (don't laugh), and things go somewhat slowly (not that the UPS person has to leap-frog over large black cows dotting the landscape between roads). Anyway, I can't stand sitting here and staring at a blank, blinking screen so I pull up another and go poking around.

And thank goodness I do!! Today's featured neato-torpedo fiber/textile gifted blessing to our world is Kathy York, found at her blog here. Like our Ferret mentioned yesterday here, Kathy Y. has a talent for the different in such a beautiful way! If you missed Ferret's site, you must go so as to save yourself from deprivation; and if you have not yet been to aquamoon, you are equally deprived and must visit!

Let me go check that dang screen again...


Well, these are what I call B-Worx. Beginning Works. May or may not become WISPs, depending. On what, I'm never sure...some things get speedily finished -- I just get on a roll, ideas snap together, and that's that, so to speak. Others (the Dreaded WISPs) get to a point where I just have to stop and think for a while, meantime becoming happily distracted with another B-Worx! One pic will be a cq tea cozy for one of my little one-cup tea pots (I have two of them!). The other is going to be a cq goddess doll. I'm actually excited about them both, but I'm going to include them in my WISP Wednesday posts, just in case!
So onward, onward!!

Perks (w/pics!)

Here's another what-I-consider-to-be perk -- I have come to adore making a pot of tea on an afternoon. I collect teapots, and one of my favorites is my grandmother's. It's sort of a peachy color, solid. The first tea cozy I ever made was done for it, and is reversible. In the pic here, I've tried to show by folding up the right corner there -- the reverse side is in shades of blue and goldenrod in an Oriental print. The yellow flower in the lower middle is my first effort at a sort of trapunto effect...it seems so inadequate now but 25 years ago I thought I was the cat's miaouw to try it!

WISPs, Works, Pics, Perks (Reversed and in Parts)

Well, perks first -- this is Brut, my 100-lb. lap dog. When DH first brought him home, Brut could fit in his hand. There's been just a *bit* of growth ... (grin!). Brut is supposed to be my watch-dog since I'm home alone so much of the time. DH, you may recall from an earlier post, retired from the FAA to play with trucks and now runs his own 18-wheeler cross-country for one of the major trucking companies. Brut, however, approaches everyone with a silly grin and a wagging tail. Well, for some reason he *does* hate the UPS person, but it's not MY fault!!


Many Blessings~

Just an interim note before this weekend's work. . .there are so many talented artists with such great inspiration-ing work into who's creative lives we are allowed to peek~~ so check out a new discovery for me http://ferfab.blogspot.com/ with incredible pieces, IMHO.

Tomorrow I am anticipating tea cozies, goddess dolls, WISPs, and works. I look forward to hearing your feedback (Open, Honest, Candid, and [GENTLY] Brutally Frank).

Until later then.


Mandalas and Celtic and Free, Oh My!

Someone on one of my other lists asked the other day about mandala patterns. I frequently do this -- someone will ask something and it piques my interest so I go off poking about to find patterns, information, etc. One of the sites that I found had this free pattern -- a lovely Breast Cancer Ribbon pattern. Ink Circles has several other free patterns available, and the site is well worth a visit.



Ok, this is an example of shibori. It's a type of Japenese tie-dyeing. There are several kinds of shibori. This pic here illustrates a particular technique called kumo shibori, a pleated and bound resist which makes a spidery design. Gorgeous, no?! I don't necessarily know what I'm talking about but the result is cool and I'm learning about different types of resist. I think this one was wrapped in a particular way around a [bamboo?] pole and then bound around before being dyed. I can't wait to try it!

The tutorials I found are here and here. Just Jussi's tutorial covers a scarf and a couple other processes; Betz's tutorial is called (I love this...!) "Shibori Felting for Scaredy Cats"! I haven't tried either of them yet, but from a complete dummy's eye, they are well written, with great pics and easy-to-understand steps. Right now my husband is STILL in recovery after I set the stove on fire (is there a Stoveaholics Anonymous?!) so I have to wait. But I'm open to everyone's comments!!

Later, gator!!

Follow-Through Begins!

OK, yesterday I spoke bravely about participating in the Great UFO Clean-Out Challenge. So here's the first one, not necessarily the first one as in the oldest non-worked-on piece, but the first one I chose! The detail is a bit hard to see. Hey, at least my camera is *working*...I just need to learn more about lighting. Anyway, the piece on the left is the front, where I have half of a needlepainted hummingbird (ruby-throated) and a lavendar tree sewn with the Portuguese Knot stitch. It came out rather well, if I do say so myself! The right piece has a heart there on the right in which I'm going to embroider Mom's initials, and some floral motifs. Also, the curly stuff below the heart is vine work, on which I'm going to make some French-Knot wisteria. So, there it is, the start! Oh, yes, this is part of a set which will include a needlebook and a scissors fob. The colors are red, purple and cream. Yes, Mom's going to have her very own Red Hat sewing set!! More later!


The Arty Meme

As a Good Night Thought, I forgot to mention that I responded to the Arty Meme that is going around. I'm quite excited -- I don't know who thought it up or where it originated, but here I am.

The deal is that the first five people who comment on this posting will each get a small piece of creativity made by me. The "catch" is that you must post a similar offer on your own blog or web site. How cool is that!! I saw the movie "Pay It Forward" a couple years ago, and it moved my heart. And I think a lot of us are similarly minded in doing the good deed for someone just because. So, IMHO, this is a lovely way to continue the tradition.

My work right now is primarily with my own designs in Jacobean needlework and Pulled Thread work. You can see samples of my Jacobean work in one of my earlier postings. So I hope folks can comment, and I also hope everyone has a good night.

Learn Along With Me!

I have emerged from my thoughts. My camera works. I got a new box of goodies from my mother. I am ready!

First, I have to publicly commit to the fact that I've joined in the Great UFO Clean-out Challenge. Nothing like making New Year's Resolutions early! Each week, I'll take a pic and show progress the following week. I think we're doing it as a WISP Wednesday (Works In Slow Progress!), so that's the program I'm following, too. Stay tuned, and be motivated (isn't that a bit scary??!!!)

Second, something I've been wanting to achieve with this blog is finally ready to begin. Sort of. Oh, but as an aside, I can't remember where I got the design there (obviously somewhere on line) so do NOT use it for anything but personal use. Please.

Ok, back to it. . . As you see in my descriptive sentence above my profile, my quote is "Decorations and details are what makes it all worthwhile!" So on the one hand, I want to take a design, such as shown above. And I want to show how I try to alter the same design, say, four different ways, each time presenting something entirely different but at the same time not deviating from the basic drawing. This is been done somewhat similarly by others, but I want to try to take it a step further if I can. And, of course, links to other work will be appearing here periodically.

On the other hand, we all know how easily we are *ahem* able to be distracted. And like any other person-involved-in-textile/fiber-pursuits, it is OF COURSE always a good thing! Thus, just because I say I'm going to play with design altering, doesn't mean other things aren't going to be thrown in, or deviated towards, or downright fascinated with. Gosh, that almost sounds like a disclaimer, doesn't it!!

A lot of us have many and varied interests in the field of "needlework", and others like to look and collect. So with that in mind, something I'd like eventually to institute is a listing of sites with free patterns of any sort on the web. Others do that, too, it's nothing new, and mine probably will not be comprehensive per se. But I'd like to try. And I guarantee you won't be bored! But please be patient...I'm still learning the blog techie stuff, too!

Now, Sharon B. is highlighting the aspect of the Personal Stitch Dictionary, and her classes through Joggles are fabulous. Sharon is a superb teacher, and an incredibly knowledgeable woman with a wonderfully explorative mind. If you have not exposed yourself yet to her site (click above on her name), or to her classes, you may be a Truly Deprived Soul. I, on the other hand, do not have enough knowledge of anything (except the feeding schedule of my 100-lb. lap dog!) to teach. I'm in the process of learning, and I invite you to join my journey and learn along with me!

To that end, on another list to which I belong, someone asked a question about an available free Shibori tutorial. I had no idea at the time what Shibori was, so I decided to look it up. Well, I ended up finding four sites with a couple tutorials and some other interesting stuff, which I posted to the list. So tomorrow I'm going to find that list and post it here to start. Not sure how I'm going to organize the posting issue, but stay tuned, learn lots, and have fun with me!


Are You Inspired Today??

I've been doing some poking around while my inner design demons are tormenting me, and have come upon some neat places. I found Lydia's Saturday Sky series to be fascinating. Lydia has a site "Fiber Arts for Charity" as well as her blogspot, so check it out!

Also, I've been experimenting with different types of applique. I have my traditional side, too! One place that has lots of patterns and ideas is Ornamental Applique by Jeni Bueschal. One of my all-time favorite spots is Pat Cummings' QuiltersMuse. Pat's husband, Jim, does the photography, and there are some fabulous articles and pictures there. Plus, Pat has some free patterns...go see!

And if you haven't heard, yet, about Sharon B's 100 Details in 100 Days for CQ'ing embellishment, etc., and you are at all into any kind of embellishment, then you Must go see her site. In addition, Sharon's listed many wonderful eyecandy sites who are working along with her, all well worth several visits. Our other group, Fabric Art Journals, although rather short of entries from me (moan!) has been real busy, and we have a lot of talent there with cameras (Translate -- I need a new camera!)...One of the possible definitions of "inspire" is to 'breathe in new ideas', and our corner of the world certainly is flowing with inspiration, so today, go Be Inspired!!



Yes, that's right -- FREE bracelets, not even shipping to pay. For each order, which consists of TWO (2) bracelet kits, Merck Pharmaceutical Co. will donate $1 towards research for a cure for cervical cancer and testing for medically underserved women. I'm excited -- I placed my order already! Let's get together and Make the Connection, doing our part to bring a stop to this truly horrible, killer cancer! Click here and start today. Gosh, I sound like a commercial -- NAYY, you know that -- but as women we already go through SO damn much, who needs something like this around, too??!


Crinoline Lady Lovers Unite!

Well, besides all the beautiful Crinoline Lady creations around the web, including those beauties showcased at CQMagOnline, I was directed to Patra's Place, where Gina E. has posted a photo of a lovely vintage-1920's hand embroidered Crinoline Lady.


So Many Projects, So Little Time

I know this is a chorus we all apply to our lives, and deservedly so. Thus, having successfully dealt with no computer, daughter KT with poison ivy which turns into a staph infection which keeps her out of school for almost three weeks (any of you ever had a SICK 16-year-old girl at the end of the school year?????), and various and sundry other things like beating KT off the computer with a big stick (j/k!), I am finally back, panting slightly, and excited about what I've been doing.

The FAJ posts will be popped shortly into our other Journal, literally -- I'm frustratedly figuring out how to do pop-ups, and thusly will my Gnome be represented! Right now, I'd love to share here what I've been doing in some other areas.

I've become fascinated for some reason with green gingham. I have about half-a-dozen standard heart shapes (such as used by Chain of Hearts) outlined on six 8"x8" squares of the stuff. On each of them, I'm experimenting with a different technique, including surface embroidery and chicken scratch. About a year ago, in her July 2005 entry, Dawn of Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost posted some pics of an absolutely marvelous green gingham vintage piece. I played with it, trying to imitate the stitches with some fair success (yes, pics to come as soon as I steal the camera back). In addition to the hearts, like I said, I'm fascinated with the whole gingham concept. I ran across a Button Beading Tutorial (I think Sharon B. posted it, but here it is again), and had to try it...I had a Dritz Button Cover Kit that I think my mother bought in the early sixties (it was like $.39!), so there I am trying to do this with 1/4"-sized checks on a 1/4"-sized button, but it actually worked interestingly. I had to really pull at the fluffy stuff since the button form is so small, but it did work! I'm currently beading around the edge with red seed beads.

I'm drifting towards more beading again, or actually in addition, but that's a subject, along with some cool freebie links, for the next post. Oh, but here's one to tantalize you -- check out this FREE tutorial and pattern for an antique beaded bracelet, and stay tuned!!



Well, as you can see, there has been nothing for a month. There is a tragic but true reason for this.

My husband, after retiring from the FAA, decided to entertain every boy's dream by playing with trucks. Nothing would do but he had to have his own. So we are buying our very own 18-wheeler. This means that I only get to see him once a month right now. We have, after three years, only 15 weeks left of [in]voluntary poverty, so to speak, and then he'll be around a lot more.

In the meantime, I know you all know about Murphy's Law. It also exists in this corner of Texas as Sarah's Moderated Murphy's Law, which is to say that not only if it can happen it will, but it will happen the day after Ron leaves and cannot be fixed for A MONTH. This generally only applies to the computer and the car. And not necessarily in that order.

So today, my computer is finally fixed. I have a raft of pics, I've been busily working on my Fabric Art Journal complete with gnome; some miniature textile/fiber pieces; a doll for my sister-in-law (who has cerebral palsy rather seriously but loves me for the stuff I sew for her!!); and some interesting pieces involving gingham and different types of threads, and, of course, my postcards for 4x6 which I haven't even had a chance to post yet although they are done. Sigh.

Because Ron's only going to be home for 2 more days, I'm really sorry but I'm going to spend time with him. This is not only because I love him but also because next month he's taking his days off to visit with my brother in North Carolina (they are frighteningly thicker than thieves!!!). Therefore, once he goes, I will be keeping my little self busy posting pix of everything (yes, comments ARE welcome!!), and chasing my gnome around to fasten him into my Fabric Art Journal.

Thank you all, not only for your patience but also for your continued interest in what goes on in this corner of the world!!

Best wishes for continued success in all your endeavors and very warmest regards from your favorite pesky Texan


My Gnome Has Inspired Me...

Well, I'm about out of thought mode...that is to say, I'm not stopping thinking, just coming up a few layers back to the land of create-and-blog!

My little gnome is taking shape quite nicely. Today or tomorrow I'll have him ready to anchor to one of my books. I've also got the backing for the one (You'll see what I mean when I post the pics)...can't decide on one for the other yet (does that make sense??!!).

OMG, I've missed our corner of the world!! Now ready to plunge into thought-related work!! Stay tuned!!


My Thread Gnome

I'm going to turn into my Thread Gnome mode for a couple days. I was thrilled that my Letter to the Editor was accepted and printed almost in its entirety in the April issue of the Quilters Newsletter Magazine! And I got some really lovely emails from my QA folks, so I'm feeling encouraged. It's on page 17, by the way (!!).

I even sat and had some thought time as to the direction I want to go this year, which, I think, is illustrated by my Letter. Connections Private and Public, Past and Present, too, I think. When my heart howled at the moon in the darkness, it was my connections that brought me back to sanity and to the meaning of fibrous and textilicious communication.

I am valuable. I mean something. I have contributions to make, and many many things to learn (thank god for all you wonderful 'net friends!!). So I'm going to take the place of my Thread Gnome and hide out in a thinking mode under my pile of threads and textiles...no mean feat if you ask me!! And I will let my Gnome have his home back in a couple days.

Deep thought is good, in a periodic sort of way, I think. I also have The Tao of Pooh, which I think bears (haha, no pun intended!!) re-reading.

My friends at Fabric Art Journals are doing wonderful things...I want to do a pop-up, perhaps of my Gnome!!

Regards for now from Your Favorite Pesky Textile Texan


Sometimes I feel like the Ever-Ready Bunny

Well, every once in a while I can easily spend a day surfing around, checking out sites, pics, narrative, blogs, pics, more pics, etc.etc. Today I still have a lot of work to do, but I find myself flitting around a lot, from my chair to the dining room table where stuff is laid out back here to the computer, surf a few ideas, back to my chair. Maybe for me it's like constantly lighting my pilot light, not that it ever goes off, but maybe adding wood to the fire would be a better analogy...either way, you get the picture! So don't ask me how I found it, but check this site -- wish my pics would come out that clear!!


Learning Never Stops...

One of the things I have tended to do is practice my stitches on almost anything else, and then consider turning it into something interesting. This piece is still in the practice-my-stitches stage, but may eventually be a model for a bookmark. The lighting is a little off, as you can see...the monogram is red on a darker pink moire background. It's done in backstitch. The tree is black on a cream background. I may just use this as a bookmark the way it is and keep adding stitches. On the bright side (hahaha!), at least my camera works even if the picture is a little ... ummmm...!!!!

And Still More!

Ok, I LOVE CQ. I'm NOT great at it, but I love it. However, I practice, and I've learned a lot. Here's a piece I did recently with a dragonfly and a vine. The blue flowers I like. The leaf on the left is stuffed, and I don't like how it turned out. The small green vine with the red things next to it was my first attempt at SRE buds. Feather stitch is one of my favorites, and also chain stitch. I participated in two RR's through one of my Yahoo!groups, and I learned so VERY much. There are a lot of really really talented stitchers out there. Plus, Sharon Boggon's blog has that section she calls "I Dropped the Button Box" which is absolutely awesome.

You're Only So Lucky (or, Count My Blessings)

I pushed my luck...I can't put two pix in the same entry. Well, I can but I don't know how yet. So we'll go pic by pic instead of one nice entry. Oh Well! Here is the pic for the Jacobean piece. I must say, I like the grapes. Each one is separate padded satin stitch, with a bit of thread change to make the highlights. I'm rather pleased. The cap on the acorn is French knots. The pale turquoise green I used on the leaf on the right (under the grapes) came out sort of blue-ish in the pic, but the veins are a darker green which turned out not too awful. As you can see, it's still in the draft stage, which means that all colors are subject to change; however, that leaf was a pain -- I did it in long and short, and the intensive curving is not something I'm used to. But that's the way the leaf is, so there you go!

The Tale of the Working Camera (Sort of)

OK, well, we'll see how this works. I want to include some pix here of what I've been working on lately, sort of the basis of the research or the quest. One of the things I like to do, besides learning the traditional methods for such skills as drawn thread work, pulled thread work, quilting and embroidery, is to try to apply them in various non-traditional environments, so to speak. So, here are some of my items.

This first one is technically a coaster. I let anyone use it as a coaster if they want to die an early death at my hand. It's an example of pulled-thread work, using the four-sided stitch, the eyelet stitch, satin stitching, and three-sided stitching as a finishing for the edge. The fringing was fun! I learned a lot on this piece, particularly how to take out incorrect pulled-thread stitches and re-do them correctly after having fixed back the fabric into place. Let me tell you how much fun THAT was...good thing my hair's already curly!!!!

I really like the patterning of pulled-thread stitches. In fact, several months ago, I ordered a book by Eileen Bennett called A Note Book of Pulled Thread Stitches. Eileen's site is The Sampler House . There she has a nice historical essay and some really lovely patterns available. Eileen also has two other books available, one on the evolution of samplers and one on reprints of articles. NAYY, just really like her site and have a great desire to get those other two books at some point in the near future.

I've just plotted out a small piece incorporating pulled-thread stitches on a "natural"-colored fabric...once I start it, of course, up will go the pix!

My next piece, and series for study, is Jacobean in style. For some reason, I'm absolutely fascinated with that era. So much was going on historically: Mary Stuart was faithfully (pardon the pun!!) doing her part to contribute to the needlework world, all these new ideas were being imported from foriegn lands, and it seems that a bunch of ideas in all kinds of areas rather exploded upon the hapless heads of the 17th century bunch! On this piece, I drafted several plant types together in a nonsense sort of theme (note grapes and acorns on the same plant -- artistic license strikes again!!!).


Never Enough Time...

Well, there just aren't enough hours in a day. How many times have I heard that, experienced that, wished with all my heart it weren't true!! Getting this darn thing set up is a major pain, especially since I am NOT fluent in HTML. I'd rather be dealing with Russian. or French. or German. or shorthand, even. My next post will be picture-crazy -- I've got so much going on that I want to share, to get opinions on. And I've got more setting up to do. As you see, my sidebar is way down where it's not supposed to be. How to do it, how to fix it? humph. The other saying I hear frequently is "one step at a time", or "baby steps get you there". Dismayingly true!!


How Cool Is This?!

I love poking around the 'net finding different thoughts and ideas...it's sort of like the legal research I used to do, taking a word and re-thinking it and running with it. Here's one -- check out www.fabricorigami.com and click on their gallery for some neat sights!

Here's a thought for you! I live in Texas, and our State Flower is the bluebonnet. I'm trying to recreate its image in needlework, with moderate success. But one of the most talented stitchers I know lives in Turkey and has completed an outstanding rendition of Bluebonnets -- http://cqmagonline.com/photogallery/photo00024663/real.htm shown at CQMagOnline in the Readers' Showcase. Check out the index for CQMag (click on 'Current Issue', then, on the left, click on Readers' Showcase for some outstanding eyecandy!!)


Treasures from the Past

Over at In A Minute Ago, Sharon's other (better?! nooooo...!) half, Jerry, found a book on Project Gutenberg about English Embroidered Book Bindings in history. The pics are fabulous and the text although a bit 'Jane Austen' (that's meant in a nice way) is incredibly clear and detailed. I'm still not great at links, but if you click on inaminuteago.com you can get to Sharon's Sat. Jan. 28 2006 post and check it out for yourself...I've had my sketchbook out all afternoon trying to keep up with my pencil!


Happy Friday!!

Happy Friday!

Humph. I spent the bulk of the morning running errands, etc. Yucko bucko! I hope to enter a couple more posts as the day progresses...I'm even going to try (don't hold your breath, please!) to post some pics of what I [hope to] accomplish this afternoon.

One of the things that has convinced me of the worth of keeping my own blog is that (eventually) others in the fiberart field will stop by and see my work. I hope for some really educational critiques. This open type of forum gives me a much greater chance than I would have in a more traditional aspect of learning.

So, stay tuned! More later...


Lots to Learn and Do...

It has been an interesting day. I have spent the hours being a think tank. KT (my teen-aged princess) is out of town for four days, Ron (long-suffering DH) isn't due home for another week. The dining room tablecloth needed washing. As an aside, I don't really have a studio, or even a workspace per se. I have one of the living room chairs and 3 of those big wicker baskets from Michael's filled. Well, the chair gets filled with me, the baskets are filled with learning projects (1), all my different types of threads (2), and ideas sketched out either w/pencil&paper or drafted on fabric samples/swatches. So, like preparing for an eclipse, the wonderful line-up of DH gone, DD gone, and bare dining room table was too perfect to pass up. As I'm sitting here now, every square inch of the dr table is covered by seven piles of stuff to get done tomorrow. Uh-huh. But, I have 'til Sunday evening...


Something To Aspire To Create...
Posted by Picasa

Day the Second

Well. It was a lloooooonnnggg First Day!! But it surely has been well spent. I have been busy learning, being the proverbial sponge, making mistakes, learning lessons, trying new things, and generally enjoying my life.

First, I had a LOT to learn about the technical side of this. And I still don't have it all quite down, as you can see by the lack of pix. But I'm getting there. So I decided not to sacrifice time for content; I can't keep track as nicely of what I'm learning if I don't keep a record.

I joined a couple Yahoo! groups, and learned a lot from them, too. In addition, I've sort of had some really obnoxiously serious health issues rear up their ugly heads, and one of the things I thus learned is that I can't plan by more than a day, if that, so I have to stay away from time-sensitive projects like RR's and some swaps. I embarassed myself a bit with that one, but it was a lesson well learned, and I was graciously forgiven my lack of learning curve at the time! Actually it was more like a painful realization rather than a lesson, but, oh well!

Good lessons learned so far -- I prefer to call them Expanded Horizons --
  • I have seriously improved my crazy quilting skills, both seam treatments and motifs. In fact, I was VERY PRIVILEGED to be able to participate in the "Sleep with the Angels" project, which was announced through CQMagOnline , to which I subscribe. As soon as I can figure out how, there will be links to the final pix...all the ladies, and we had quite a few, not only from the States but also from Turkey and a few other countries, did just a wonderful wonderful job. I was honored to be a part of that project.
  • I am conquering some white work stitching skills with which I have always wanted to become more familiar. I have a friend who graciously answers all my emailed questions with aplomb and patience. Once I get her permission, I'd like to post a link to her site.
  • I learned how to tat with a needle!! A lady towards whom I have the highest respect and affection, Barb Engle, helped me...when I finally got the hang of it, I called her up in glee, and, completely forgetting to say "Hi" or anything, I happily shrieked, "I GOT IT I GOT IT!!" Fortunately she recognized my voice and laughed at me, but her steadfast cheering on has me hanging in there. Sorry, I'm not good enough to post pix of THAT particular effort, but give me a little while!
Anyway, that's it for now. I hope to post now rather more often than every six months (red face here!), so stay tuned!