I have to finally admit that keeping up with a blog takes a special kind of effort. I truly admire those who do it as their livelihood. After checking back to my last post, I’m appalled to see that it’s been almost 9 months since I last blogged. It seems that life keeps getting in the way. LOL! Of course I can claim the last months of 2016 were focused on the holidays and family occasions. Then in January I was determined to create some new patterns – and I did! Hooray! Except it took almost 3 months to complete the process. Can I blame an old slow computer – or better yet – an old slow operator?? 🙂 At that point, it was April and time for taxes and trying to squeeze in a few personal projects that had been begging for attention for well over the past two years. In May, we decided to ‘retry’ a trip to see family out west; we had cancelled this trip last year due to excessive heat. (That ‘adventure’ is worthy of it’s own blog, so tune in later.) So here I am looking at the end of June… More…

birchbarkwallpocket2-copy-2 It’s certainly been a bit since I’ve last posted anything. It seems that life sometimes insists on taking its own course. While I do intend to get back to at least occasional blogging, I have decided to post this tutorial that I have long been meaning to share. It seems especially significant since I’ve just listed a new pattern for a wall pocket http://www.designandbemary.com/products/wall-pocket/    This pattern can be done using either the faux birch bark technique or simple plain wool with applique.  I’ve actually experimented with several projects in the faux birch bark technique and it certainly is a fun ‘diversion’ from so much of regular wool work AND it has the added plus of being done on the sewing machine;  a real plus if you’re not a huge fan of hand applique!  You will also enjoy it if you have had even a passing interest in basketry techniques as the sewing and construction methods have some similarities.  I will caution that working with the heavier materials involved may prove to be somewhat more challenging if you are so unfortunate to have to deal with arthritic hands, etc. More…

ChainStitching1 copy Yes, I have finally found time to get back to posting. As the title to this post, suggests, January was a different sort of month for me. And before I continue please note that I am very aware that many of you have stood in ‘these shoes’ before me; and like so many things in life, it’s just a whole different story when ‘it’s your turn’! While I do like to keep my posts focused on quilting, wool work, handwork, pattern designing, etc. I also realize that we cannot always ‘compartmentalize’ the activities and events of our daily lives. More…

It'sSnowWonderCUWords1 copyI guess if you are reading this, I can assume you are not easily frightened away by things involving winter weather! I make no apologies. I happen to be one of those persons who loves snow. I realize it’s no fun to drive in and for sure it can test one’s fitness level (ummm ‘age’?) when clearing it from the driveway or sidewalk! But I’m a hopeless romantic and love to watch snow fall in the evening hours, twinkle in the morning sunshine, and lay like a pristine sparkling carpet when I walk, ski, or snowshoe in the nearby park/woods. I created my wall hanging “It’s Snow Wonder” to capture the swirling and sparkling of snowflakes. As promised in my last post, I have put together this tutorial about many of the ways one can mark felted wool and wool felt; the letters on this wall hanging will help demonstrate at least one way to mark your project! More…

Yours truly at the Minn. State Fair with my award winning quilt!

Yours truly at the Minn. State Fair with my award winning quilt!

Once more, it seems summer has slipped away and fall is quickly evolving into the inevitable coming winter season. Looking back at my last blog, I can see that I have a lot of catching up to do. It isn’t that I’ve been sitting around – especially since my DH was working part time at Lowes, leaving a few more things for me to deal with at home! More…

Entry doors to the vendor floor....Anticipation!!

Entry doors to the vendor floor….Anticipation!!

The last couple of weeks have been ‘crazy busy.’ I’ve somehow managed my way through any number of computer and printer problems and finished the Yule Tree ‘Advent’ Calendar pattern! The pattern is finished and I have 65 packaged and ready to go! Even packaging presented ‘issues’! I cannot express my relief that this one is done! Like a mother sending her little ones out to the world, I hope that it will be well received by those that decide to take on the challenge. While waiting for the printing and the covers, the weather cooperated and we managed to get our garden in. Can’t believe how early we are able to plant – I don’t remember a year when we got things in the ground this early! But I am so looking forward to those fresh radishes and lettuce. The straw bales have been conditioned and planted as well: and this year we are trying ‘grow bags’ as well – for potatoes, strawberries and some squash. As far as I’m concerned, gardening is really just a big science experiment, subject to some hard work and the hands of Mother Nature! After harvesting our extremely abundant first cut of rhubarb, I can only hope we’ll be blessed likewise for the rest of the growing season. More…

Out of the frozen soil!  At least this pansy thinks it's spring!

Out of the frozen soil! At least this pansy thinks it’s spring!

The sun is shining this morning – enough to convince me that maybe, just maybe, we can bid farewell to the worst of winter and look forward to whatever spring and summer may bring. This little purple pansy that showed up in my garden over a week ago causes me to be optimistic! Optimistic enough that I have already bought my seeds for our straw bale garden and am already yearning for the taste of fresh veggies. HOWEVER (and that is a BIG however) I have a few things to get done before I head out to garden…more More…

Close up of my 'It's Snow Wonder' wall hanging

Close up of my ‘It’s Snow Wonder’ wall hanging

As I look out my windows this morning, it is snowing like crazy, but the beauty of the snow belies the very cold temps that we are experiencing here in Minnesota. It’s hard to explain to our little Aussie just why it wouldn’t be much fun to play outside. But it’s a wonderful day for finally having time to sit down and catch up on my blog. Somehow Christmas 2014 has come and gone, along with my birthday, two of my best friends’ birthdays and my youngest daughter’s birthday(New Years Eve!), and of course New Year’s Day 2015! For those of you who celebrate other traditions, that would include the passing of another Hannukka, Kwanzaa, and winter solstice; I love the opportunity to learn about other traditions than my own. I think they give us all a chance to add joy and meaning to our lives without having to sacrifice any of our own – and in the long, cold, dark season of winter, we can use all the joy we can get! As I look forward to another year, I do want to share some of the projects that I completed for Christmas – I couldn’t share them before as certain recipients would have found out just what was coming their way! More…

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