Saturday, March 31, 2012

Channeling Dad


This is my family.  The photo was taken about 6 years ago, at Cindy's 50th birthday party.  What a fun bash!  It's actually the last photo of my family that I have with my folks in it.  As many of you know, I lost them very close together that year.  I miss them both every single day, but it's not always sad, you know?  In fact, a lot of times it will be a funny story, or a mannerism I've inherited, that makes me giggle out loud (which often gets a few stares from people around me, if I happen to be by myself in the grocery store or on the bus - haha).  Like today.  Robert Frost's famous poem popped into my pea brain this morning, and it always makes me think of my dapper dad (wasn't he, though?  I mean, just look at that guy - far right, grey beard, next to my mama - they're both in yellow - that happened a lot - by accident).  But I digress...here's Mr. Frost's words...such a lovely diversion from the everyday path.  xo


The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;        5
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,        10
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.        15
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hey, where did I go?


 (I'm in Mexico this week - una mas, por favor! - but I've scheduled a few little ditties so you won't miss me too much.  Here's one of my favorite sunshine songs.  See you back here next week!)

Brown Eyed Girl, by Van Morrison

Hey, where did we go
Days when the rains came?
Down in the hollow
Playin' a new game

Laughin' and a-runnin', hey hey
Skippin' and a-jumpin'
In the misty mornin' fog
With our, our hearts a-thumpin'

And you, my brown eyed girl
You my brown eyed girl

And whatever happened
To Tuesday and so slow
Going down the old mine
With a transistor radio

Standin' in the sunlight laughin'
Hidin' behind a rainbow's wall
Slippin' and a-slidin'
All along the waterfall

With you, my brown eyed girl
You my brown eyed girl

Do you remember when
We used to sing?
Sha la la, la la, la la, la la, l-la te da
Just like that
Sha la la, la la, la la, la la, l-la te da
La te da

So hard to find my way
Now that I'm all on my own
I saw you just the other day
My, how you have grown

Cast my memory back there Lord
Sometimes I'm overcome thinkin' 'bout it
Makin' love in the green grass
Behind the stadium
With you, my brown eyed girl
You my brown eyed girl

Do you remember when
We used to sing?
Sha la la, la la, la la, la la, l-la te da
(Lyin' in the green grass!)
Sha la la, la la, la la, la la, l-la te da
(Bit by bit by bit by bit by bit by bit)
Sha la la, la la, la la, la la, l-la te da
(Sha la la la la, la la la la, la te da, la te da, la te da, da da da)
Sha la la, la la, la la, la la, l-la te da

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Log Cabin Chicklets


Oh my nerves, how cute are these?  And they are so fun (and super easy) to make!  What?  You don't know where to start?  Well, step right up, friend. 

Announcing the second workshop in my online workshop series, Soul Food Take-Out.  This one is called Log Cabin Chicklets.  In this one lesson workshop, we'll create these a.dor.a.ble little pin cushion-y, bean bag-gy chickens from tiny log cabin quilt blocks.  Too.much.fun!


I have a whole flock of these in my sewing room.  I love their chubby little shape and funny faces.  They make me smile every time I glance at them.  

Registration for Log Cabin Chicklets will begin on April 1st (no foolin'!), and the workshop will be open on April 7th.  I hope you'll fly the coop and join me (hahaha).

Friday, March 23, 2012

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner




Thanks for all the great reviews of my interview with the fabulously talented Jennifer Paganelli!  Such fun to know there are so many Jen-o-files out there!!



I like to do this the old fashioned way, so I took all of your comments, printed them out, and threw them in a (very cute) hat.  I've drawn two lucky winners who will receive a bundle of Sis Boom fat quarters and my Sis Boom quilt pattern.  Drum roll, please....


I'm looking for "Joan and Kevin" and for "Kathleen".  If you posted either of these two comments, please email your contact information and mailing address, and I will get these little bundles out to you!  Thanks.

And thanks for everyone who came by to visit.  I hope you'll join me again next month for my next interview.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Love French Knots


We all love French Knots!  And French Knots love us, too!  Take a lookie-loo over here.... 

My sweet friend Bari J. posted one of my stitchy little photos.  Thanks B!  Hope we get to stitch together again sometime soon. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Keeping You in Stitches


There's a brand new page up in My Stitch Journal.  Another fave, the split stitch.  Great for outlining and filling in.  Very versatile, that split stitch.  Happy stitching!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy First Day of Spring


 One of my favorite days of the year!  This and the day we spring forward and the days become wonderfully longer.  Bliss.

I feel like celebrating!  How about 20% off (just for today) at my Etsy shop.  Just cuz. 

Happy Spring!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Lovely and Amazing Jennifer Paganelli

Meet my pal, Jennifer.  We have a mutual admiration society which spans the continent.  She's an East Coaster, and I'm on the West Coast.  But, I swear, we were separated at birth!  I first "met" Jen via an article in Country Living several years ago, and have been watching her do her magical, colorful, and very groovy thing ever since.  She loves color, she loves vintage, and she's got a furry white fluffball of a dog.  Hello?  Did I say we might have been separated at birth?

I finally had the chance to meet Jennifer in 2007 at an event we were both attending.  I was a total stalker, and stopped her outside the ladies loo of the venue where the event was held.  Yep, I really did.  I introduced myself, and I'm not sure what all I said, but I'm sure it was something along the lines of:  omigodyou'rejenniferpaganelliiloveandadoreyouwillyoubemyfriend!!!!!!??????

We've been friends ever since.  So, without further ado, heeeeeeeeerrrrrreeee's Jen!


Tammy: What are you most artistically gifted with, and what skills would you like to acquire?
Jennifer: I have an innate sense of wonder that is truly an amazing gift.  I love creating.  I love creating something that moves someone's soul.  I think that is a gift.  As far as skills - always learning new things, and to remain teachable.  I love learning and there is so much I can learn in design.  I'd love to be a fashion designer one day.
Tammy: A fashion designer!  I love it!  I'd put on anything you cared to whip up - as long as it was in your fabric.  Naturally.


Tammy: If you had magic powers, what three things would you make come true?
Jennifer: Great question.  If I had magical powers it would be for more of us to be comfortable with ourselves; to know that we are capable of participating, and that we don't drown ourselves in negativity.

Peace.  I'd make all religions of the world come together for one day to heal, to get perspective on others points of view, and to be okay with peoples choices.

Finally, to understand that riches and external signs of wealth do not make someone wealthy, but spiritual grounding is where true source of contentment is found.
Tammy: Great answers, Jen.  You've got such a global perspective, yet on such a personal level.  One of the many things I love about you.


Tammy: What art supplies could you not live without?
Jennifer: The computer, my journals.
Tammy:  I hear you on the journals, girlfriend, but some days I could throw my computer out the window.  


Tammy: What do you do to unblock a creative block?
Jennifer: I hand sew. I am known for sequins and felt. I love the cold months when hand sewing is a way of life.  I sew and dream at the same time.  It lifts me out of any artists block.
Tammy: Same, same.  Me too, my sister from another mister.


Tammy: Where do you look for inspiration?
Jennifer: I look for inspiration all around me, but mostly in vintage items.  I also look to the design houses making beautiful fabric.  I love online magazines and fashion magazines..love it all.  Other artists on Flickr and Pinterest also get my mojo stirred!!  I also reach back quite a bit to the 70's but you already knew that.
Tammy: I did, indeed.  Great era, by the way.


Tammy: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Jennifer: My greatest achievement is writing two books for Chronicle Books: Girls World, introduced last year May, and Happy Home coming out this May.
Tammy:  Girls World is such a lovely book.  And I can hardly wait for Happy Home to come out.  I was so tickled when you asked me to contribute.  Tickled and honored and surprised beyond imagination. A million thank-yous!


Tammy: Besides family, friends, home, and health, what is your most treasured possession?
Jennifer: That would be George, Head of Customer Service.  He's always there for me!!!  (He's my labradoodle, btw.)
Tammy: Kip wants to know if George can come over for a play date.

Tammy: If art were to disappear from the planet (heaven forbid!), and there were no more Copic markers, embroidery floss, or Photoshop, what would you do with your time?  Are you a closet gardener?  Aspiring presidential candidate?
Jennifer: As far as other hobbies, I would try to read more.  I love reading, but am always exhausted.  I think reading is good for one's soul!!
Tammy:  When you're ready, let me know.  I'll email you my favorite titles.


Tammy: If you could be any artist (living...or not) for a day, who would it be, and why?
Jennifer: I would love to be Joss Stone or Lauren Hill.  I'd love to sing for just one day, and say to the audience..."I got this"!!!
Tammy: A closet songstress!  I love it!  I'd sing back-up to you any day.  Just tell me and I'm there!


I hope you enjoyed getting to know Jennifer.  Thanks so much for popping in.  As promised, we're giving away a little package of Sis Boom fabulous-ness.  A bundle of Sis Boom fat quarters (there's a baker's dozen in there!) and my Four Square quilt pattern that I designed exclusively for Sis Boom fabrics.  Times two!  Two big winners will one of these little packages!  Yippee!


Just leave a comment, and two winners will be randomly selected from those comments.  Good luck!!


Be sure to visit Jennifer over in the magical land of Sis Boom.  Also, you can pre-order her new book, Happy Home (I have a project in there - so fun!), coming out on May 1st. You can pre-order your copy by clicking the book image on my left sidebar.  Thanks, Jen, for being the first of my famous people interviews.  xxoo

Friday, March 16, 2012

My Stitch Journal


I love to stitch.  As you know.  And I definitely have some favorite stitches.  They're the ones I go back to time and time again.  But I'm trying to branch out a little bit.  Try new ones and add them to my repertoire.  So, I started a stitch journal - because that's what I do.  Need to organize something?  Make a journal.  Need to pull a lot of information into one place?  Make a journal.  So.  I made a stitch journal.  Which is fun, actually, on many levels.  1) I love any excuse to buy a new spiral bound notebook, with it's fresh and clean pages; 2) doodling makes me happy; and 3) I have about a half dozen stitchery reference books and can never remember which stitch is in what book.


I've only gotten a few stitches doodled and explained, but I think this is going to be a great resource for me.  And, I love to share, so I thought you might also benefit from my efforts.  So, periodically I'll put up a new stitch right here on my blog.  To get there, just click the My Stitch Journal tab up top.  You can download and print it for your own personal use, keep it with your needle and thread for reference.  Just a little thank you from me to you, for being such a lovely person.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Treasure Nests

Oh, I'm just so excited! Today is the first day of my first online workshop in my new Soul Food Take-Out series. Fun!! I think everything has gone off without a hitch and that peeps are "on site". Hey, if you'd like to join us, it's not too late. Just hit the "buy now" button on my right sidebar and you will get the keys to the queendom! (actually, it's just supersecret access to the supersecret blog site where the workshop is hosted. But still...) Come on over!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nesting

Finishing up a new sample for my first online workshop Treasure Nests, which starts tomorrow. Can hardly wait. I haven't made a nest for awhile, and I forgot what a meditative sort of project it is. There is a real rhythm to its creation, which I love. And in the end, I wind up with this incredibly beautiful vessel for holding treasures. Fun. There's still time to register if you'd like to join us.

Getting over a nasty cold today. Hope you're feeling fit as a fiddle.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Stitching in the Sunshine






We're enjoying some lovely sunshine today.  This was how it streamed into my window and onto the sampler on my lap.  Makes me warm all over, just looking at it.  I hope you can find yourself a little sliver of sunshine today and get a few stitches in. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Keeping Myself In Stitches


Oh my little needle and thread, how do I love you?  Let me count the ways. 


If you've been visiting my blog long enough, you know that I dabble in all sorts of stuff.  I play with papers, I paint with pretty colors, I string bright glass beads and baubles.  But somehow I always end up back in my favorite chair, stitching.  One stitch at at time.  It was really my favorite part of my quilting phase, too, the hand-stitching of the binding or quilting the layers.  There is nothing like a little bit of hand-stitching that sets the soul right.






Most of my stitchy projects start out in my doodle journal.  And many of them begin even earlier on a cocktail napkin at happy hour or on a bank deposit slip while I wait for the traffic light to change, and then make it to my doodle journal.  It's an evolution.  Eventually the ones I really like, I then deem stitch-worthy and I copy them onto linen, then stitch in my favorite penny candy colors.


I haven't decided if this one will end up a pillow or a tote or...what.  It's a nice size 10ish by 10ish, so there are some lovely options to ponder.  If you're feeling stitchy, I've just loaded this pattern onto my Etsy shop.  It makes for a lovely diversion from housework.