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Monday, December 21, 2009

It's Christmas,and then the New Year!!!

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year
to all of my faithful readers and customers !
It has been a very good year in spite of all that is going on nationally and internationally. I hope that all of you have also had a good year. Even though it makes me a year older, I am excited to be able to have the promise of a New Year. So much about what kind of a year it will be, or even a new day, depends on each of us individually and how we face the new day or New Year. If we face it with enthusiasm , and with a good attitude
for the most part, we will have a great year. It is so true that the only way to find true happiness, is to reach out to others and bring happiness into their lives and the more we do this, the happier we will be. Being happy is a choice, and happy people don't necessarily have a perfect life, they have just chosen not to let the imperfections in their lives ruin their perspective on life. So be happy, pick up some stitching or quilting when times get tough and enjoy the process of creating. And if you really want to be happy, teach a child how to embroider, sew, or quilt. By doing this, you are teaching them something that could become a major part of their life.
For those of you who might be interested in doing our ornament line as a Stitchery of the Month, you can check out the details on our website, http://www.chickadeehollowdesigns/ click on the Santa in the ornament section to get all the details, or send me an e-mail. You may also want to check out our Christmas Club.
Have a great holiday and I will be in touch in the New Year.
Happy Stitching! Carol

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

2009 Ornament Series

Vintage Quilt Shop Ornament
Today, I am posting the last ornament of the 2009 ornament series! These have been so much fun to do, and I can hardly wait for next year to start my second series. If you haven't started making this series yet, go to our website, www.chickadeehollowdesigns.com and check them out. We also have a SOM (Stitchery of the Month) option for those of you who would like to save a little money but get all 18 ornaments done in a year. Remeber to click on the View Details option beneath each ornament, it will give you a large colored picture of each ornament that you can print for floss color placement. The SOM option includes the floss pack in the total price. Also,wo do have floss packs available for the entire set for $10.00 I hope you enjoy them.
Happy Stitching! Carol

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New Ornaments



It is getting close to Christmas! We are winding down on our ornaments for this year, today, we add two more and the last one for 2009 will be sometime this weekend. These guys have been so much fun for me, and apparently others too, because we have sold a lot of them. Some shops are also going to do them as a SOM (Stitchery of the Month) for the coming year. That is a good way to do them! Most of them can be completed in a couple of evenings. These also make great gifts for your stitching friends.
Happy Stitching! Carol

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Needle Magazine Premiere Issue

We are so happy to be a part of this! You can read all about it and subscribe to the online magazine if you choose. Go to the link shown to read. Our ornaments are featured as well as the process I use to create them.
Happy Stitching! Carol

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Favorite Time of the Year

Isn't this just the best time of the year? Getting ready to hunker down for the winter and endless days filled with stitching!! The best birdwatching is in the winter when the birds are no longer able to find food in snow covered fields. I have to admit that I really do like winter. I get a little tired of the lack of sunshine but all in all it is a good time of the year. This week we can look forward the best meal of the year. What is better than a turkey dinner with all the trimmings? My favorite part of the meal is the stuffing and squash. that is the best!!!
I also like the Norwegian Rice with Raspberry Sauce that usually shows up, and of course my daughter-in-laws apple and pumpkin pie. Yum, I can't wait! Remembering to give thanks is also something that I take very seriously. We have so much to be thankful for.

I want to share with you a new ornament today. This is my little ginger bread boy!! There are three more ornaments in this years ornament series, that will be out some time this week, and I will share them here with you.
I have a lot to be thankful for this year and I have decided to pass along some of my good fortune andI am having a contest. Here are the details. I will give away 5 of my ornaments, your choice to these lucky people. 1. The first person to comment on this blog post.
2. The person who answers this question in the best way? What is the one thing that you are most thankful for this Thanksgiving.
3. The last person to comment on this blog post up until 12:00 noon on Thanksgiving Day.
4. The one who says the magic word. (I have chosen a word associated with Thanksgiving
dinner.)
5. What do you like best about my blog?

Get going now and post your comments!!
Happy Stitching! Carol

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Designers Are Thinking Spring

Roses For Mom
Even though Christmas is right around the corner, people who design are thinking of spring. You have to be one season ahead of everything in order to design, get photographs, and have your products ready to sell right after Christmas. It is hard to think spring when you are just fiinishing all your fall outside work and getting ready for Christmas, but today I started my thought process. actually I did a while back already because I did purchase some georgous fabric for a spring quilt from Robyn Pandolph's line Somerset Cottage about a month ago. I have the quilt pattern all drawn out on graph paper and am ready to start doing a test block to see how that will look. It should be kind of fun if it works as I have designed it.
The other thing I did was go through my stash of finished embroidered pieces to see if there were some little treasures buried there that I wanted to resurrect. And lo and behold I did find an embroidery that I was working on when my Mom became very ill and passed away. I decided to call it Roses For Mom, and after she passed, I couldn't quite bring myself to do anything with it, but I am at a better place with all of that now and I think I would like to do something with it for this spring. I think Mom would like that. Hmmm, maybe a little verse around the borderwith some little pretties tucked in here and there. we will have to see what becomes of that.
I am curious, do any of you finish little things and then stash them away for awhile until a notion comes about what to do with them? Write and tell me about them if you do. I think it is fun to listen to stories about things that people find in their stash that they forgot they had.
Well, it is the magic hour when it is time to go to bed, say my prayers, and then dream about what to design next.
Happy Stitching! Carol

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Little Chickadees


By Carol L Steffensen
Chickadee Watercolor Painting
Everyday I like to spend a little time watching the birds. Today, as I watched, the chickadees were feeding in earnest. I have always liked chickadees, plus the fact that we have lots of them at our place here in the country. It is also part of the reason I named my business Chickadee Hollow Designs. Long before I started designing quiltng and stitchery patterns, I did a lot of painting and drawing, and of course one of my favorite subjects was birds and other wildlife.
I think the good Lord knew what he was doing when he created the earth and gave us all the beautiful wildlife, flowers, trees and terrain for us to look at. Have you ever thought about what this world would be like if there were none of those things I mentioned. Just think about it for a minute, and look around you and see how many things, tangible things, that would not be part of your world, if those things were gone. Pretty scary, isn't it. Then the other things I think about are like the war riden countries like Iraq, and Afghanistan. What happens to all of that wildlife and beauty? I can't imagine birds stick around when there are bombs going off. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?
Happy Stitching! Carol

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Needleworks Show....Retail

Reminder!!

Don't forget to check out the first on line retail needlework show at the link shown above. Show starts tomorrow, November 5th and goes through November 8th.
Lots of great items to choose from. Check it out.







Happy Stitching! Carol

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

58 Days til Christmas, Yikes!!

Yes, I am afraid it is true, 58 days til Christmas; why does it always seem to come so fast? I think the problem is that I just plan too many things to get done before Christmas. I want to thank all of you who are enjoying my Vintage Ornaments. The ideas keep coming and I keep stitching and who knows where it will end. Today I am going to share a couple more with you.The first one is a church, which reminds us what the Christmas season is all about.

The next one is one I really enjoyed making. As you may know, I love cats, like many quilters and stitchers do and I couldn't resist making this little gal. I have three cats, and my absolute favorite cats have always been calico cats. Wonder what will be next? Keep checking in with me and see what my upcoming ornament ideas will be.

www.chickadeehollowdesigns.com

I am also working on a redwork project, if you remember the redwork teapot that I posted aqbout a month ago. I wanted to share it with you, but have temporarily misplaced it. Can you imagine that?? You could if you could see my studio! The worst part of this wondeful job is cleaning up the shop! I need to be in the mood to do it, and they don't come too often, but my husband is going on a four day goose hunt and the weather is suppose to be gray and dreary so I should be able to fit it in sometime in the next couple of days.
I am in the mood to throw a quilt on the quilt frame and do some hand stitching. I haven't done that in a long while. For me, it is very relaxing to to do hand stitching. My favorite kind of hand stitching is to do it with Perle Cotton. I am interested in knowing if any of you also like hand stitching with Perle Cotton.
Well, on to the next project, and remember the countdown to Christmas is on. I will be sharing projects that I am making for my family for Christmas.
Happy Stitching! Carol

Monday, October 12, 2009

We woke up this morning to the most beautiful snowfall. Here is a look out my backyard, about three-four inches here, the earliest snow that I can remember, and apparently there has only been snow this early about eight times since they have been keeping records. Awwwh!, We love it here in Minnesota!!
I finally finished my miniature heart quilt, so here it is Scrappy Hearts & Lazy Daisies!

I've been having some troule with my camera, yesterday we had the big pumpkin carve and I tried to take pictures of all the grandkids and ity didn't work for some reason. But enjoy, and remember you can purchase any of my designs at www.chickadeehollowdesigns.com
Happy Stitching! Carol

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Sign of Things to Come

Redwork Teapot
Today I finished this Redwork Teapot, and I really like how it turned out. It is fun to finish something; gives you a sense of accomplishment. However, this project is far from done as this is just the beginning. I can't tell you what it will become, but just keep watching and I will keep you up to date on the progress.
Can you believe that right now in Central Minnesota, October 9th, we have one inch of snow on the ground.? Well, it's true, if it wasn't dark outside I would have taken a picture and posted it, maybe I will do that tomorrow. We are suppose to have our annual Fall Fun day with our family, do a hayride, carve some pumpkins, eat my daughter-in-laws homemade apple pie. Not sure if the hayride will happen; it is also suppose to be very chilly and windy this weekend. But, we will have fun no matter what we do, hope all the grandkids will be feeling good, some of them have had the flu.
Went for a ride today through the State Park that we live near, on my way home from the beauty salon, the trees are just turning here, which is very late, but some really great color starting, however, with this snow and the freeze warning, there may not be a lot of nice color for very long. I have noticed that the birds are feeding more at the feeder already and they are really picking away at the suet. I love watching the birds in the winter, especially after we have a heavy snow. They come all crouched up to the feeders and sit there like little feather balls picking away at the seeds.
The clock is striking 1:00am so I think I better shut this thing down for the night. Enjoy my teapot!!
Happy Stitching! Carol

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Autumn Cherish It!

Autumn Cherish It !
Here it is just as I promised, my new Crazy Stitching. I finally finshed it, and I am pleased with the results. I plan to sew it into a little shelf pillow. I hope you enjoy it. It will be posted on my website later today if you are interested in purchasing the pattern.
Happy Stitching! Carol

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Stitching At Midnight & Scary Sounds

Do you like to stay up in the evening and stitch after everybody else has gone to bed? Well, I do. I enjoy the peacefulness of it and just the time for me to reflect on my day and mentally prepare for the next day. Running this business does require some quiet time for thinking! So you can usually find me up at least an hour or so after my husband retires to bed. Well last night about 1:00am, I was stitching in our four season porch which is all windows on three sides; I had a lamp on and soon I heard the coyotes. We live where there is a lot of woodlands, lakes and thickets, but also in a farming neighborhood. The coyotes are plentiful around here and we have sacrificed more than one calf from our beef herd to the coyotes. So I am used to their wailing and noises at night, but all of a sudden I heard this awful noise mixed in with the coyotes that I can only describe as a blood curdling roar that I have never heard before, but sounds like the noise a monster would make in a horror movie. The needle stopped, and I froze, the hair on the back of my neck stood at attention!!! I listened and then I heard it again and again for four times total.
I got so scared that I reached over and turned the lamp off and crept from my chair through my studio and crawled into bed and I actually woke my husband, I was so scared. It has bothered me all day as I try in my mind to figure out what it could have been. Today my husband asked me again to describe it and I said the best way I can describe it is like Sasquatch running through the woods screaming as he was being chased by coyotes. Brrrrrrrrr! So what am I doing tonight; sitting up writing in my blog and it is well after midnight!!
You have seen some of what I call my Crazy Stitching stuff before and I just love doing these things. I have finished a new drawing that I will print to fabric and then embellish with embroidery stitches or other items. This one is called Autumn, Cherish It! It is a collage of sorts
that reflects sights of autumn.

I just love how they look after I apply the stitches to it. Tune in again tomorrow and see what the finished product looks like. I am almost done with the stitching on it and I can hardly wait to show it to you. They are so much fun!!
Well, if I quick close and hurry to bed, I can get their before Sasquatch goes out for his 1:00am stroll!
Happy Stitching! Carol

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rainy Fall Days and Other Delights


It looks like we are headed for a couple of rainys days. I can't wait, I love rainy days in the fall. It freshens everything up and all of the flowers shoot out some new blooms before they get frost. I also get a lot of stitching done! I have some projects I have been trying to wrap up.

Every year about this time we plan a day for the family and we do a hayride and carve pumpkins. we usually follow that with a spaghetti supper and my daughter-in-laws Apple Pie. it is the best apple pie I have ever eaten, hands down! She is an excellent cook , and we all look forward to her apple pie. Of course, the grandkids have fun throwing each other in the leaves and trying to slime each other with pumpkin goo. It gets a little messy, so we do it in the garage and we store our little pumpkin carvers in a drawer so they are handy. The dads usually have to help with making the big hole at the top of the pumpkin, but after that the kids dig in and do the rest. It's great fun, and they each get to take their pumpkins home. We take pictures and just have a lot of fun.



Here is a quick sneak peak of one of my newest projects. Can't give all the details away yet, but you should be able to see it all completed in a few days. Bring on the rain!

Check back in towards the end of the week and I will have some more pictures of my projects for you.
Happy Stitching! Carol

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lavender Roses In My Stuff.

Lavender Roses
I was digging through my "stuff" yesterday and came upon this lavender rose that I had designed a couple of years ago, did the hand embroidery on it and put it in with my "stuff." It certainly deserves a chance to get out of my "stuff" pile and be made into something useful. I will have to ponder that awhile and see what I can make of it. Hmmmmm, I just recently joined a Round Robin group on line, maybe I will use it for my center block and see what can become of it. Do you have piles of "stuff" around that are just begging to get made into something? Being a quilter, stitcher, designer, painter, let me tell you I have piles of stuff around. i wish I could be like some people and be better at discarding things that most people view as worthless, but my problem is an imagination that I think it too vivid and so I can see value and worth in most anything that most people discard. I was raised in a family of eight kids and my parents were farmers, so we grew up ceertainly not destitute or poor in todays sense, but we defintely lived a life of frugality.
Getting back to "stuff," I used to do a lot of hand painting and so I would often search through garage sales, used a bit stores etc. to look for smaller wooden objects that can be refinished and used to paint something on, so I have a room full of that kind of "stuff" in the basement. And, needless to say I certainlty have a lot of sewing and stitching "stuff" around and a good share of it is in plastic storage tubs in my basement and it fills a couple of rooms. But, I do get rid of some "stuff' once in a while. I sent a huge box of stuff to Louisiana during Katrina to a quilter who had contacted me to say she was putting together a group of quilters who had lost their "stuff" during the hurricane. Thats a good thing and I try to give whenever I can to things like that. Well, I guess it is back to my "stuff!"
Happy Stitching! Carol

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Evolution Of An Idea

Printed onto fabric
My Supplies
I decided it was time to take a break from the remodeling we are doing to our house and do some designing. When I am busy working on other projects such as my house, I still get ideas all the time as I am working, so I have gotten pretty good at tucking them in the back of my mind until I have the time to work on them. We are down to two rooms left on our remodel job and most of what needs to be done is "man's work." The cooler, "fall type" weather we have been having is getting me in the mood to work in my studio anyway. As some of you may know, I like designing small things, "putsy" as my Mom used to say. As an artist I like detail so I think that is where that comes from. When thinking of quilt blocks, most people see quilts, big quilts, throw size etc. I do sometimes too, but I always think the block in itself is a design all of it's own, and I like to think of ways to use them in the products I design, not necessarily always a quilt. In the following pictures, I am going to show you how an idea I had comes to evolve into something. First I had to gather my supplies: (See Photo at the top of post
My first drawing is made using a mechanical pencil. This is my rough draft;I then use permanent ink markers such as Pigma or Copic pens in black to go over my pencil lines to make a permanent drawing. Here is where I use an eraser to remove the pencil lines. My drawing is now just a black line drawing. I call that my original.
Two quilt block designs in black pen
Since I want to be able to print this drawing onto a fabric sheet, I prefer to not have block pen lines, so now I re-trace my drawing using a sepia colored permanent ink pen, as you can see in the photo below. They are alittle hard to see in this picture, but in real life they are very clear lines.
Drawings now done in sepia colored ink
My next step is to use my colored pencils to apply the color and shading to my design. First, I lay
down the color where I want it, not necessarily as dark as I want it, but enough so I know where I want what color. I now start to apply another layer of color in the areas where I want it shaded darker. As you know, shading is what gives a drawing form and the form is what gives dimension or perspective. I continue to lay color until I have it shaded just the way I want it. I try to make good use of my paper and supplies by getting ideas about how to use all of the room on the sheet as my plan is to transfer this to fabric, and I don't want to waste a fabric transfer sheet.
Colorplate prior to printing
Ok, I am now ready to print to fabric. If you have never done this before, it does take a certain amount of practice to get everything just right. You may have to adjust the color on your printer, etc. to get everything just right. This is what the finished product looks like after I have added some stitches and tiny buttons to embellish it.

These happen to be miniature Christmas ornaments. Thease are the steps I use for making all of my preprinted designs, so there are a lot of steps but it is worth it in the end.
Also at the top I have posted a picture of what it looks like when it is printed on the fabric. Sorry it is out of sequence.
The fun part is when it is ready to be stitched!
Happy Stitching!
Carol

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What It Means To Be A Mom

Today I sat in my screen porch in my favorite chair and as usual did one of my favorite things in the world and that is watch the birds. We have an abundance of colorful songbirds who enjoy our backyard. As I wrote earlier ,we have a wrenthat was so impatient to build a nest and start a family that we didn't even have a chance to put the bird house up. I had a bird house on a post just leaning against the corner of my screen porch when she started to build the nest. It didn't matter to her that it hadn't even been nailed upright. I explained to all my grandchildren who were of course very curious that they musn't disturb the nest as she was going to have baby birds very soon. Well, that just made them all the more curious and it wasn't long before the post got knocked over and lay precariously on it's side. Again I warned them to leave it alone as I was afraid that the mother wren would certainly be done with that house after all the comotion. It wasn't long before the mother wren was back and sat very quietly on the edge of a wooden flower pot and cocked her head from one side to the other as she wondered what had happened to her house. She seemed reluctant to go inside but finally did and quickly popped her head back out and did a 360 of her head as you could see her trying to figure out what happened. Well, being the good mother that she is, she continued to nest but I think it took her at least a day and about 100 trips in and out of her house to get it situated the way she wanted it. I was relieved, it looked like she was going to stay! A week passed and one of my grandsons came and he decided that the post had to be uprighted so up the post comes and of course an angry mother wren quickly flew out and lit on one of the nearby branches and very loudly let us know that she was not happy. I always wondered how such a little bird could have such a loud presence. I knew I had to intervene in some way to make this house a little more permanent, at least long enough to bring these babies into the world. I propped the post up into the corner and planted a heavy flower pot against one side of it and then pushed a flower box against the front of the post so it couldn't go anywhere. In doing this, I made sure that the front of the bird house was now visible from my favorite chair. Now I am in heaven, (that is what my sister-in-law calls my screen porch) I can now watch her even closer as she is only about 10 feet from my chair. Now, I can't wait for the grandkids to come and sit on Grandma's lap and watch the birds.As I was sitting there today, being reflective about my special mother-in-law who just passed and thinking about her role as a mother to my husband and watching the mother wren do her job (the babies are here now, we can hear them very plainly) I found myself comparing how we as mothers are much like bird mothers and how much our children depend on us for the things we do.Somedays I look at my house and it seems like it has tipped over, because everything is out of sorts, and even if I get the family to help, it is still me, the Mom who orchestrates everything. When it comes to nourishment, it is me the Mom who initiates the cooking and I am the one who makes sure the meal is balanced so the family is properly nourished. Just like the mother wren, it takes about 50 trips around the kitchen to get it all together and feed the brood. She, the mother wren never seems to tire, as she is always, alert, chirps like she had a swig of serotonin, and flits about like she nevers needs Ibuprofen or Aleeve to get her through the day. And I will bet that she nevers eats the last worm either.She gives it to her kids. Ay least they don't have to do laundry and keep track ofwhether or not the family has any socks left or where that blue shirt is that was in the laundry last week. But I do believe they have good memories, because every year they have to fly all the way back from down south, and how in the world do they remember this weather beaten little 6 x 6 house on the corner of my porch. Can you imagine how many houses they must pass on their way up here? And the other thing that is so amazing, as I have been watching it for years, they always arrive on May 9th. Coincidence?? I don't know or just a darn good Mom keeping track of everything as usual??Mom's are amazing people who have amazing strength and do amazing things for their families. I know I will be keeping close watch on my deck family, I just have to see those babies take their first flight. I have a feeling I will have lots of company, because my grandkids and Minnie (my cat) are very interested in the activity in that little house. This will be my stitching spot for quite a while.
Happy Stitching! Carol

Monday, July 27, 2009

Designing Thoughts

Recently, I was thinking about all the new designing ideas that are starting to fall under the realm of the "Quilting Umbrella." Nowdays, you can walk into a quilt shop and find designs and patterns from anything from little girls dresses to aprons, totes, quilts wallhangings, towels, stitchery and many other items. I think we have the quilting industry to thank for the renewed interest in sewing again. However, also the fabric designers themselves. The selection is overwhelming, and the colors are spectacular. We owe a lot of gratitude to the shop owners also for their never ending willingness to help customers with product selection, demonstration of new products and also classesthat are designed to utilize the products invented and also the different uses of the fabric designed. When I had a quilt shop, I had an older customer come in one day to shop and look around and she finally shook her head and said, "Oh, how I wish I had been born twenty years later." I think that pretty much sums up how a lot of of the older generation of quilters felt.
I am grateful that I have been able to live and see this "renewed interest in quilting and sewing in general. Now we just heed to get our younger generation involved and teach them the newest tricks and techniques.
Happy Stitching! Carol

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fun With English Paper Pieces

English Paper Pieced Ornaments
This month is the last month of our Christmas Club, and we finished off with some ornaments made from English Paper Pieces. They are really a lot of fun to make as well as being very quick, and make the best little gifts to give to that special someone that you just want to remember with something small and home made. I added a few small yoyo's (which I love to make) to the hexagon wreath for berries. You can add to them embellishments if you choose. Hang them from a door knob, cupboard door handle, shade pull, fan pull, of just lay a few in a basket dor a real festive look. These are made with the paper pieces still inside of them to make them more sturdy. A great way to use of fabric scraps as well.
Happy Stitching! Carol

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Vintage Basket #2

I finished the second vintage basket that I designed and now I am not sure what I will do with it. I like the colors that I used, and the precoloring really does make the design stand out more and adds to the three dimensional effect. I guess I will just have to let it lie around for a while until one day I will pick it up and finsih it somehow. Does that ever happen to you when you finish a piece and you don't quite know how you are going to use it?
Vintage Basket #2
If nothing else it will look good framed or on a pillow.
This evening I was out watering my flowers, (we need rain bad!) and it was such a beautiful evening, however, the mosquitos were nipping at my ankles and the hummingbirds were circling over my head. I was watering by the flowers that they like to come and have a drink from before they retire for the night. Such minute creatures they are, makes me wonder how they survive out there in predatory country. However, they are no more than an appetizer at best for even the tiniest predator. We have had a bumper and I mean BUMPER crop of army worms this year. Many of our trees in our back yard are stripped. Someone told me the leaves would come back yet this summer. I guess I will have to watch to see if they do.
I am in the process of moving my studio into another room in our house as we are doing a bit of remodeling. This week will be the big move as I will be going through everything as I move it.
What a week it will be, but the move will be well worth it as I will have more space, better light, and a door from it that goes into our four season porch, one of my favorite places to stitch. I am dreading the moving and if anyone could see all the stuff I have packed into my old studio, you would know why. I will try to take some pictures of my new room right before I mess it up with a new project!!
Happy Stitching! Carol

Monday, May 25, 2009

Ornaments


I finally finished the full line of the Vintage Christmas ornaments. There are 12 ornaments in the line and I have decided that I am going to do another 12. They have been so much fun to work on. I don't know exactly what I will be doing in the next 12, but I have some ideas. Check in often as I will be posting pictures as I get them done. You can purchase these on my website at http://www.chickadeehollowdesigns.com/
Happy Stitching! Carol

Quilting Stories

Behind every quilt there is a story. Did you ever really think about that? I have been thinking a lot about that lately as I try to zero in on how I come up with my designs. So often, I am asked how I come up with different designs. So, I have tried for a long time to come up with an answer when I get asked that. I think I may be blessed with a photographic mind. I am not sure other people see things this way, but I can shut my eyes, and I can visualize what a certain design/block looks like.That may sound an awful lot like, “I see things!” But it is true. My favorite time to visualize things like that is when I go to bed at night or when I get up in the morning. So, if you came into my bedroom, you might see a graph pad laying next to me bed. You just never know when an idea comes so I always want to be prepared. A lot of times I get an idea from looking at fabric, so I guess you could say that, “the fabric is speaking to me.” I guess I will be careful who I tell that too. They may wonder about an old psychiatric nurse that “says the fabric is speaking to me.” But even more than how I get my ideas, I think it is more important for me to hear your stories. Growing up with a mother who made many, many quilts, I now think back about some of those quilts. Most of her quilts were made from a cardboard barrel full of scraps that never seemed to get empty. My Grandma used to go to Goodwill and get used cotton clothing and my Mom would use it for quilts. I remember very well, me and my sister sitting on the quilts and looking at the different pieces of fabric, pointing out the ones from which we had homemade dresses. And always I now think about her tools. They were minimal! A treadle sewing machine, scissors, yardstick, cardboard shapes, squares, circles, etc. There were no rotary cutters, cutting mats, or acrylic rulers. We are able to make much more beautiful quilts now days, but I still have fond memories of the scrap quilts my Mom made. Recently, I ran into a friend of hers and we got to talking about her quilting, and this is what she said, “I wish I had been born 20 years later. “ Her comment struck me and I wondered if my Mom didn’t feel the same way. She is gone now, but her quilts live on as she never made one for herself, they were all given as gifts for grand kids, nieces and nephews weddings, etc. So many times this is where our quilts go, and each of them has a story. I would like for you to share a neat quilt story with us, so I could share it with other readers. A lady I worked with told me about her quilts story. She had it all cut out and I don’t remember what the pattern was, anyway her husband got very ill and ended up in ICU for over a month. She said it was the quilt that sustained her through that long and grueling time. He couldn’t talk as he was on a respirator, so she just sat with him and quilted on her quilt until he recovered. So, that quilt has a story. Share some of your stories with us.
Happy Stitching! Carol

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Grandmothers Flower Garrden Quilt

Traditional Flower Block
Today is the day I started my Grandmothers Flower Garden Quilt. Our club officially got off the ground last week, and at present we have 5 brave souls who have started with a few more that are thinking about it. Hopefully, we will get more to join us as they can start whenever they want. At this time we have, Vickie, Karen, Renee, Charlene, and myself. I remember thinking at one time that you had to be crazy to start one of those. But, I always admired them and thought them to be an interesting concept. I decided to look up some history on the Grandmothers Flower Garden Quilt, and I found out some things that I thought I would share with you. This quilt was thought to be the most popular quilt pattern after 1925, and many women who had never made a quilt before made one of these quilts. It was very popular duringthat time; it was the Depression Era, and many women felt it was a good way to use up all their scraps.The actual hexagon pattern, commonly referred to as “mosaic” actually dates back to 1700’s. That is a long,long time ago! So, now we know that. Aren’t we blessed with all of the quilting tools, and fabrics of today? I am so grateful that I havethis to keep me occupied in this crazy world we live in today. I also found it interesting that this was a popular quilt during the Great Depression; the state of our country right now may someday be called the second Great Depression. Oh, if we could only look into that crystal ball and see the future. I want to hear from all of you, send me an e-mail, csteff46@tds.net let me know how it is going, and also if you are having any problems. Also share pictures with us and I will post them here.If you have any good GFG Quilt stories, (or other quilt stories) share them with me too,and let me know if I can post it.Today is the day I started my Grandmothers Flower Garden Quilt. Our club officially got off the ground last week, and at present we have 5 brave souls who have started with a few more that are thinking about it. Hopefully, we will get more to join us as they can start whenever they want. At this time we have, Vickie, Karen, Renee, Charlene, and myself. I remember thinking at one time that you had to be crazy to start one of those. But, I always admired them and thought them to be an interesting concept. I decided to look up some history on the Grandmothers Flower Garden Quilt, and I found out some things that I thought I would share with you. This quilt was thought to be the most popular quilt pattern after 1925, and many women who had never made a quilt before made one of these quilts. It was very popular during that time; it was the Depression Era, and many women felt it was a good way to use up all their scraps.
The actual hexagon pattern, commonly referred to as “mosaic” actually dates back to 1700’s. That is a long,long time ago! So, now we know that.Aren’t we blessed with all of the quilting tools, and fabrics of today? I am so grateful that I have this to keep me occupied in this crazy world we live in today. I also found it interesting that this was a popular quilt during the Great Depression; the state of our country right now may someday be called the second Great Depression. Oh, if we could only look into that crystal ball and see the future. I want to hear from all of you, send me an e-mail,info@chickadeehollowdesigns.com let me know how it is going, and also if you are having any problems. Also share pictures with us and I will post them here.If you have any good GFG Quilt stories, (or other quilt stories) share them with me too,and let me know if I can post it. Also, anyone else who wants to join us and make a Grandmothers Flower Garden Quilt, just let us know, and you can find all the information on my website, http://www.chickadeehollowdesigns.com/.
Happy Stitching! Carol

Time To Plant

One thing for sure that I know I have passed along to my grandkids is the love of going out and digging in the dirt. Even before I was ready to dig this year, these two grandsons of mine, age 4 1/2 and 5 years had to do some spring planting.They discovered this nice patch of black dirt next to the shop, and they both came running into the house asking for seeds. Grandma wasn't prepared, so I had to scamper a bit and find some seeds. I dug into the sunflower sack for the birds, and then I went to the cupboard and found some navy beans and then a few popcorn seeds; I made up a little baggie for each of them, and they both ran outside happy as could be.
That kept them busy for about a half hour, as they dug holes and planted their seeds. It sure was fun to watch.
I did go out today to dig in one of my flower beds, and it was great, but I have to pace myself, or otherwise I would stay out there all day. Then the next day, I would be stiff and sore.
Tonight I have to get busy and do a little quilting or stitching. I am working on some more miniatures made from Civil War fabrics. I will get a picture as soon as I can to post.
Happy Stitching! Carol

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fun With Charm Squares

Centennial Stars
Prairie Stars
Who can resist going into your favorite quilt shops these days and picking up a couple charm packs. They are affordable, and there is something about them being pre-cut that adds to them being so desirable. I have designed a few quilts using charm packs. Prairie Stars is one of them, and that is made out of 120 Bound To The Prairie charm squares. I couldn't resist the deep rich colors in that line. You can find the pattern on my website, http://www.chickadeehollowdesigns.com/
Centennial Stars is a miniature quilt I designed, and it too, is charm pack friendly. The fabrics I used in that little quilt are Civil War fabrics, and the colors I chose almost give it a patriotic feel.
Happy Stitching,
Carol

Waking Up With Stitching On My Mind

I can tell it is going to be a good day when I wake up with stitching on my mind. Some times people laugh at me when I tell them this, but it is true. Almost every day I wake up with stitching on my mind. I never seem to tire of it. If I do get tired of working on a cetain piece there is always another one around that I can work on. If you are like most quilters or stitchers, (I am both so I call myself a quitcher!!) you probably have many different projects lying around in vaious places throughout the house, and probably also in the car. And if you can't find one laying around, there is always a new one to start!! That is so much fun, starting a fresh new
project! With all the good intentions in the world we start new things and every once in a while we finish one. Many times I may have five projects lying around all with about a half hour left on them. Then all of a sudden one day, I will get the urge and finish them all in one day. Aaaah! What a great feeling it is to finish five projects in a day. It gives me such a sense of accomplishment. I had one of those days yesterday , and I was able to wrap up about 7 things actually. Today, I feel like I have accomplished nothing, even though I have been busy all day. I like making miniature quilts, and I like doing my own designing. Sometimes I think that people may
think I pop these things off just like that and sometimes it does happen that way. But right now I am working on a miniature that has been reconstructed so many times that I am thinking about calling it "A Misfit." I am eager to see the response I get once I actually put it on the market. It isn't a hard quilt, it just took forever to get around to something that I was pleased with. Well however, it turns out, I know my grandaughter will like it. She loves everything I do, even a very gaudy piece of Crazy Quilting that was actually my first attempt at that. Whenever, she sees it, she asks me if she can have it when I am gone. I always promise her she can,
because there is no doubt in my mind that anyone else will fight about it. Grandkids are the best! Tomorrow it will be off to school to see my oldest grandson in the spelling bee. Should be fun!!

Happy Stitching! Carol

Being Grateful


It was so cold this morning and I sat and thought about how grateful I am that I don't have to go out into the elements any more for my job. After nursing for 40 years and getting up early in the morning or coming home in the morning after a night shift, I really appreciate not having to get up in the morning or go out in the night and brace the cold. That set my mind thinking about all of the things I have to be grateful for, and the list went on and on. I think it is good to reflect on the things we have to be grateful for, and most often we don't have to look too far to see someone who has it worse than we do. Yes, I have the usual morning aches and
pains that go along with getting older, and of course my chronic neck pain from an "old football injury". Yes, it is true, it really is an old football injury. It happened when I was 16 years old and I was playing football with my five brothers. I always had to play with them so they could have three against three. On that particular day, my one brother threw me a pass and as I caught it, my oldest brother sacked me so fast. I didn't even see him coming it happened so fast. My body whipped to the ground and I heard my neck snap. That was the start of a life of neck pain and I have had problems ever since. The chiropractors say it was a whiplash, now I have some arthritis going on in the vertebraes. Even with all the pain I have endured with it over the years, I have something to be grateful for. I am grateful I didn't die!! It is my cross to bear and it's burden is very light compared to some things that others have to endure, so I try notto complain.I am grateful for my husband , my children, my grandchildren, and the list goes on. One of the things that I am especially grateful for is the talent that God has given me to do my designing and my artwork. It is what fills my life these days, and what a joy it is. After finding a way to incorporate my artwork into my stitching and quilting, I feel really blessed to be able to do it all. Thank You God! Today I worked on a new design for a spring pillow, I drew some wildflowers that I am going to use for the center panel. You can see it at the top of my post.I think I will use
some of the 30's reproduction fabrics arouind it, not sure how yet. Don't you just love the 30's??Doesn't making something springy just lift your mood or spirit? Until next time, just keep on stitching.
Tuesday, February 6, 2007

A Beautiful Day

Thank you God, for this beautiful day! Although it started out a little humid after a little night time rain, it ended up being so beautiful this afternoon and evening. The sun came out, the humidity went down and it got cooler.However, not far away, 4 inch diameter hail stones and downed trees. Some more people to remember in my prayers tonight and another thing to be thankful about. Have you ever really thought about how many things happen in a day that we have to be thankful for? We are so blessed in so many ways. Speaking of beautiful, I got a close up look today at the RJR fabric line,"The Roaring Twenties." It is a beautiful line of 1930's reproduction fabric and I love every piece of it. Man, did that set the old wheels a turning! I am totally amazed at all the beautiful fabric lines available,and they keep coming and coming. Someone asked me if I was going to do any fabric designing since I do pattern designing, and I said," Not while they keep turning all these beautiful fabrics." The biggest problem is what to do with all I already have. I know there is always charity and I have every intention of sending some that way here in the near future. I was contacted by a gal who works with an organization called Patches Of Love. They make and take quilts to homeless orphans in disadvantaged countries. You can look up their organization on line, it is called www.patchesoflove.com You can send them either quilt blocks already made or you can send them the quilts. They ask for quilts about crib size and you can see where they have been and where and when they are going on their next trip to take quilts to orphans.We are so blessed in this country, most every little child I have known in my life has had several quilts. It is hard to imagine that there are some with none. Besides designing quilting, one of my passions is too draw, sketch and paint. Today, I was thinking about sunflowers, and how they are colored. If you ask someone what a sunflower looks like, they will probably say, yellow flower with green leaves and stem. But the real striking sunflowers are those that have reddish petals and are multi-colored. I will never forget this town I came through one time in southern Minnesota and someone had planted sunflowers right up to the highway in the little patch of dirt that lies between the sidewalk and the curb. They were mixed, multi-colored, and so tall and they greeted everybody who came into that town. It was so striking, I will never forget it. Anyway, that would be my dream to have a patch like that down by my mailbox to greet passer-bys. And as an added dimension right next to the American Flag hanging from a flag pole. Oh, and we might as well stick a birdhouse or two in there too. I think I better dream on that tonight and see if I can make it happen this week-end. Tune in later to see what happens, maybe if it turns out good, I will even post a picture. I do have a drawing of some sunflowers that I will share tonight. Enjoy, and keep on stitching!Monday, May 21, 2007Change Is Good Every day I am reminded that changes are good for you. Living here in Minnesota, you better get used to change. Today, our morning started at about 45 degrees, and right now at 4:00pm, it is a very humid 85 degrees. We have had wind, rain, sunshine, humidity, calm, cloudy, and stormy. It is true what they say, if you don't like the weather one minute, just wait a while and it will change.I need to get some of my annuals planted yet, once the weatherman can promiseme that we are not going to get any more frost. Some parts of our state had a half inch of snow yesterday.It is absolutely the best time of the year. The hummingbirds, wrens and orioles have arrived and the chorus they send up every morning is like being in heaven. I have a little Berwick wren building a nest in a birdhouse that is sitting in the corner of my deck that I have not even got put where I want it, I guess it will stay there until the little ones are hatched. It is a treat to sit in my screen porch and watch it flit from tree to tree in my back yard staking out it's territory. Bird behavior is so interesting to me, maybe it is because I was a psychiatric nurse for many years that I am interested in their behavior. You can learn a lot about nature by sitting and watching them as they mingle with the other birds at the feeders, and protect their territory.Aaah! Birdwatching is great. But do you know what makes it even greater?? If you have a piece of stitching in your hands while you are sitting in the porch while watching them; it doesn't get any better than that. Oh, did I forget to mention a big cup of strong coffee and a good stitching friend? That helps too!! My porch is one of my favorite places these days, can you tell??I am stitching on several different projects right now. I feel bad for people who have not been exposed to the world of stitching. It is such a big part of my life. I truly love making miniatures and most of all I like designing my own ideas. I have made some miniature table runners that you can check oput on my website. These have really gotten to be a lot of fun for me, and very easy. They also have many wonderful uses, being great for end tables, coffee tables, and also accent tables. I made a pattern for Autumn, Christmas, and Spring. Each pattern has five different designs and none of the three patterns are alike so there is a total of 15 different desgins. Check them out at www.chickadeehollowdesigns.com. Well, I better get back to designing before the day is done. For those of you who are folowing my blog, I apologize for not posting for so long, but we have been busy doing some changing and re-organizing here. Until next time, grab a cup of coffee and some stitching and head for your porch, patio, deck or whatever you have and take in some of the wonderful sights and sounds of spring. Keep on stitching!!Friday, February 9, 2007 Happy Stitching! Carol
Happy Stitching! Carol


Happy Stitching! Carol

My Funny Friends

One thing I really admire in a person is a great sense of humor. I like people that can laugh at themselves and can tell you funny things that they have done even if it makes them look silly. My friend Judy, has a sense of humor a lot like mine and often we will say the same thing at the same time, which makes it even funnier. We often talk on Instant Messenger and sometimes we get the giggles so bad that we have to quit. Last night she was telling me about the fact that she lost the mattress pad for her queen size bed. She has been busy re-decorating her bedroom and in the process misplaced her mattress pad. As we were talking, she was telling me all the places she had looked for it and I was kind of suggesting places where she should look also. Now how does one misplace a queen size mattress pad? She lives alone in a smaller home and she claims she has looked "everywhere." She told me she had even looked in her "freezer." Needless to say, they were several, "lol, lol, lol," over that comment. She is one of these obsessive people who is a fanatic about cleaning and ironing and pressing everything. So, I suggested to her that maybe she had ironed it and folded it up and put it in the drawer with her doily's. Then I suggested that maybe she still had it on the bed, or that it was under the lid of her printer. (That's another story I should share.) Anyway, the last I talked to her, she had still not found it. It really isn't the kind of thing that someone would come in and steal. She is a quilter; I sure hope she didn't sew it into a quilt! Anyway, I do look forward to talking to her every evening ater the news, because we have the same kind of sense of humor. It is good to go to bed laughing. There has been times when I have gone to bed and thought of something that she said and then I would lay there and laugh and try not to disturb my husband. It is good to have a friend that can make you laugh.I had my own little circus here tonight, as I gave my two Pomerainian pups a bath. I was all alone in the house; I could have used my husband with his lariat rope. I guess next time I give them a bath I should not bring out the towels and the puppy shampoo until I have them corraled! They still are not quite used to the bathing ritual. It is tick season in Minnesota so they need their baths frequently. First I tried to lure them to me by talking sweet and that didn't work. Then I tried one of their favorite toys and they both sat there and looked at me like they were thinking I was pretty weird. Darn!! Where are those husbands when you need them. After several trips through the entire house, (under the beds and chairs, behind the couches) I finally caught one and took him to the tub. As soon as the other one saw what was happening, he disappeared! By the time I was done with the first one, I was pooped!! I actually thought of waiting with the second one until in the morning, but they sleep together and I didn't want the other one to get dirty again, so the chase was on again. Finally they were both squeaky clean and then my husband walks in. (Don't husbands have uncanny timing??) When I told him, he thought it was funny! Guess who is going to be around on the next bathday?? He needs to get in on the round-up. After all he is the cowboy in the family! I didn't get any quilting or stitching done today, but my studio is sparkly clean. If we get the rain that is forecasted for tomorrow; it will be a great day to spend the day stitching. A couple of graduations to go to, visits with the kids and grandkids and the weekend will be gone.I want to take some special time this weekend to reflect and pray for the men and women who have gone before and those who are presently serving our country. We all need to take time to honor them and pray for them.Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My Little Wren Friend

Today I sat in my screen porch in my favorite chair and as usual did one of my favorite things in the world and that is watch the birds. We have an abundance of colorful song birds who enjoy our backyard. As I wrote earlier ,we have a wren that was so impatient to build a nest and start a family that we didn't even have a chance to put the bird house up. I had a bird house on a post just leaning against the corner of my screen porch when she started to build the nest. It didn't matter to her that it hadn't even been nailed up-right. I explained to all my grandchildren who were of course very curious that they musn't disturb the nest as she was going to have baby birds very soon. Well, that just made them all the more curious and it wasn't long before the post got knocked over and lay precariously on it's side. Again I warned them to leave it alone as I was afraid that the mother wren would certainly be done with that house after all the comotion. It wasn't long before the mother wren was back and sat very quietly on the edge of a wooden flower pot and cocked her head from one side to the other as she wondered what had happened to her house. She seemed reluctant to go inside but finally did and quickly popped her head back out and did a 360 of her head as you could see her trying to figure out what happened. Well, being the good mother that she is, she continued to nest but I think it took her at least a day and about 100 trips in and out of her house to get it situated the way she wanted it. I was relieved, it looked like she was going to stay! A week passed and one of my grandsons came and he decided that the post had to be uprighted so up the post comes and of course an angry mother wren quickly flew out and lit on one of the nearby branches and very loudly let us know that she was not happy. I always wondered how such a little bird could have such a loud presence. I knew I had to intervene in some way to make this house a little more permanent, at least long enough to bring these babies into the world. I propped the post up into the corner and planted a heavy flower pot against one side of it and then pushed a flower box against the front of the post so it couldn't go anywhere. In doing this, I made sure that the front of the bird house was now visible from my favorite chair. Now I am in heaven, (that is what my sister-in-law calls my screen porch) I can now watch her even closer as she is only about 10 feet from my chair. Now, I can't wait
for the grandkids to come and sit on Grandma's lap and watch the birds.As I was sitting there today, being reflective about my special mother-in-law who just passed and thinking about her role as a mother to my husband and watching the mother wren do her job (the babies are here now, we can hear them very plainly) I found myself comparing how we as mothers are much like bird mothers and how much our children depend on us for the things we do.Somedays I look at my house and it seems like it has tipped over, because everything is out of sorts, and even if I get the family to help, it is still me, the Mom who orchestrates everything. When it comes to nourishment, it is me the Mom who initiates the cooking and I am the one who makes sure the meal is balanced so the family is properly nourished. Just like the mother wren, it takes
about 50 trips around the kitchen to get it all together and feed the brood. She, the mother wren never seems to tire, as she is always, alert, chirps like she had a swig of serotonin, and flits about like she nevers needs Ibuprofen or Aleeve to get her through the day. And I will bet that she nevers eats the last worm either.She gives it to her kids. At least they don't have to do laundry and keep track ofwhether or not the family has
any socks left or where that blue shirt is that was in the laundry last week. But I do believe they have good memories, because every year they have to fly all the way back from down south, and how in the world do they remember this weather beaten little 6 x 6 house on the corner of my porch. Can you imagine how many houses they must pass on their way up here? And the other thing that is so amazing, as I have beenwatching it for years, they always arrive on May 9th. Coincidence?? I don't know or just a darn good Mom keeping track of everything as usual??Mom's are amazing people who have amazing strength and do amazing things for their families. I know I will be keeping close watch on my deck family, I just have to see those babies take their first flight. I have a feeling I will have lots of company, because my grandkids and Minnie (my cat) are very interested in the activity in that little house. This will be my stitching spot for quite a while.
Friday, May 25, 2007

Another Day In Paradise

A beautiful day for sitting in the screen porch and stitching. When the weather is like it was today in Minnesota, it is close to paradise. Low humidity, light breeze, temperature in the 70's and the sun shining. I am so grateful for my screen porch (here in Minnesota you gotta have screen to keep out the mosquitos) it's nothing fancy, just very country and comfy. Now what could be better than that. As I look over my rock gardens, I can see that I am going to need to put down the stitching one of these days and do a little weeding. I don't like to use weed killer because we have so many birds that visit our backyard, and I don't think it is good for them. Speaking of the birds, my little wren friend was not in her house today and I am quite concerned about it.I miss her chattering and antagonizing the car. I know the cat didn't get her because the cat doesn't go outside. I don't hear any little ones either, I sure hope I didn't miss their first flight. I am stitching on another piece of what I call "Crazy Stitching." I am not a crazy quilter, as I really don't like the bright, garish look of some of it, but the stitching intrigues me. I like doing
the stitches. I also like to draw (if you haven't figured that out by now) and I like doing a drawing of some of the stitches, coloring them and then transferring them to fabric and then doing
embroidery on them. The photo that I have just posted is one of my latest pieces. I have yet to make it into the heart shaped little door knob hanger. I have the best time doing these. I will include another photo after I get a digital picture of it.When I was talking about prardise earlier, I was reminded about an e-mail I got the other day from my niece. She is a young mother and and has 3 little girls, the oldest is 3, and the other 2 are twins and are two yearsold. In her note that she wrote me, she ended it by saying, I need to go because one of the twins had written all over the other one with a magic marker, and then ended it with.... oh, just another day in paradise. It struck me funny but at the same time I found myself reliving some of those experiences of being a young mother and dealing with things like kids coloring on the walls, etc. When you reach the age of being grandparents, and how you think at that point in your life, those days were like paradise. What fun it would be to spend a few days with three active little girls like that. I love little children at that age, they are so quick to smile and they are just like little sponges as they absorb everything you say and do. The thing that I wonder about though is why, I as a mother at that age was so serious about everything. When I think about it, we did it to ourselves. I remember thinking that my house had to be perfect, the laundry always had to be done, heaven forbid if anyone came over and saw the house a mess. I remember just flying into a frenzy if I found out someone was coming and I would clean and dust and bake a cake because back in those days you always had to have something baked to go with coffee in case someone came over. I remember fretting about the garden and making sure there were absolutely no weeds present. I went to school and got both of my nursing degress after my children were born and worked out full time most of my life. I remember feeling like I was on a roller coaster some days, as I would fly from one thing to the other. Now I sit back and I think "for what." Life is what happens when you are busy making a living." And those days with your children when they are small are so precious, and it is all gone in the blink of an eye. Young mothers, take heed, slow down, spend time with your children, the days pass way too quickly. We all need to slow down and enjoy life more, because in the end, it is all about what kind of a person you are inside and not what things look like on the outside or what your home looks like, or what others think about you. Take time to stitch, and watch the birds, smell a few roses, chase a few butterflies.

Happy Stitching! Carol

Waiting For Warm Weather

Anyone else ready for Spring?? I am eagerly awaiting for the first day that I can sit in my screen porch, watch the orioles and humming birds drink from the feeders, and stitch the day away. Man, it don't get any better than that! I can't almost feel the warm sunshine on my achy bones already. Our weather has not been good for the athritis sufferers of Minnesota. One day it is 50 degrees, and the next day it is 10 degrees. The cyclical nature of the weeks in March are just teasers for those of us who need the sun to warm our achy bones and help the Ibuprofen some. The heating pad helps, but it is not the same as the sun. However, my stitching keeps me busy enough so the days go by pretty fast, and it won't be long and the renters will be here.( My little wren friends, usually on May 9th.) I am not sure if I ever mentioned that I am a bird lover, and I especially like to draw them. We are so blessed to be able to watch these amazing creatures, and especially in the spring when all their colors are so vibrant. I see that I have gone past the magic hour for getting my beauty sleep, so I better close for now. Leave a comment, we would love to hear from you.
Happy Stitching! Carol

Lifes Little Blessings

Everyday, I am reminded that one of the blessings of getting older is grandchildren. I am fortunate enough to live pretty close to all six of my grandchildren and I am grateful that all of them were very healthy when they were born. They are all different, their little personalities are so special. The one thing I appreciate the most about them is the condition of their hearts. They are very normal children in so many ways, but the thing I think is the neatest about all of them is their hearts. They are all very affectionate, very caring, warm
individuals. Some of the things they say and do just warm my heart and make me believe that they will grow up to be very special people. All of them love animals, which is pretty evident, as none of us lack for pets. We had a very unfortunate thing happen this week, one of our dogs, Molly, (who was a black lab in appearance, but was a mix of a couple different breeds was found in an animal trap. Needless to say, she was dead, and the
trapper who found her was very sad. When he came to our door, and told me what
happened, I immediately teared up and and I felt like we had lost a family member. Molly was like family, she was the protector of all the grandchildren, while she watched our place at night and would always alert us that maybe a cow was out or something was going on outside that needed our attention. All of my grandchildren loved Molly. When my two oldest grandsons would come and spend a night with us, they always wanted to bring in Molly. I always let them, because they would lay on the floor with him and play. They would hug him, sit on him, roll on the floor with him and many times I would hear them say, "Molly , I love you."They all loved him; he would actually
smile at them. If you have never seen a dog smile, you have missed out. It is the sweetest thing.My grand daughter who lives next to us, claimed Molly as her dog. Where ever, Mariah went, Molly went. They were inseparable, and she claimed tobe the one that trained him to be such a wonderful dog. Manytimes I felt sorry for him, for some days Molly wore hats, some days he was on a leash; whatever she did to him, Molly accepted as part of his chore to follow along behind her. When the grandkids were playing outside, Molly would lay quietly on the lawn, and watch them, as soon as one of them would get to near the road, or wander farther then they were allowed to go, you could see Molly slowly get up and go and put herself between the danger and whatever grandkid needed gaurding. She did it very quietly, as if it was her job. If one of the kids would disappear from site, we would know to immediately see where Molly was as she would be at her post protecting. And if we didn't see either her or one of the kids, all we had to do was give a holler, and she would come bouncing out from where ever and lead us with her tail a wagging right to where ever the missing
kid was. Molly was a blessing too. Thank you God for bringing Molly into our lives, we will all miss her. It is true what they say about dogs, their love of man is unconditional.
Saturday, June 30, 2007

Happy Stitching! Carol