Monday, December 17, 2012

19th Century Needlecases

English Needlecases
Vintage Sewing Necessities at their best. These little tubes were created in the 1800's. The cases are brass and then coated in a marbelized  type of enamel. Inside each case is a small wood needle case. Wrapped around the wooden tube filled with needles, is thread and then topped with a thimble. These were purchased from a collection in La Jolla, California. Wouldn't these look great displayed?
They have all flown from my "coop". I think they are marvelous!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cookie Exchange and Paperwhites

We had a cookie exchange last week and the rules were a bit different. We were each to bring 3 dozen cookies in a container. The container needed to be a bit unique. Then we drew names for the cookies. I failed to get a photo of all the containers, but they were beautiful offerings.

This is such a great idea, I hope it inspires! Marilyn took a heavy, glass icebucket and filled it halfway with her cookies. She then placed an arrangement of greens and paperwhites inside the ice bucket and tied the glass container with doupioni silk ribbon. Absolutely the perfect hostess gift!

Decorated Thrift Store Christmas Tree

As a Thrift Store Junkie,  I seem to, weekly take bags of items, to my favorite thrift store which I proudly deposit in the back of the store, only to circle to the front of the store, and load up with someone else's "stuff".  I know I am not alone! The other day I found a pretty verdigris brass container filled with dried fruits and berries for $5. I deconstructed the arrangement, which was built to last, and added wire to small pears, apples, artichokes, and berries with twigs. Then I wired them to the tree. And the tree will live in that spot through the winter. I found the owl in the back of a truck, with an assortment of chainsaw art, parked next to me, at a  store. I waited for the owner of the truck to return and the female chainsaw artist, was on her way to a  craft show. She was delighted that the owl had a new home. The owl was a Christmas gift for my husband. We have barn owls and we never tire of hearing them at night.   The little lantern is an inexpensive piece filled with a flameless candle. The inside of the lantern base is filled with walnuts. When we toured the Christmas markets in Germany and Austria, there was nothing more inviting than to see lanterns with flickering candles, that graced the stoops and porches in the villages. 

Fabric Collage to honor Lincoln

There are no words for the loss of a pet.  It seems the best we can do, is know, that in the presence of our pets, we experience universal love.
This is a pet collage, almost finished, that will ship to a friend this week. No matter, where Dawn went, Lincoln was with her. I asked Dawn to send  a phrase to include with his photo.
The image is fixed to burlap. It is felted with wool I purchased from a farm in Virginia. The sheep gladly gave  up their beautiful wool jackets, so they could enjoy the summer roaming the Shenandoah Valley.  I dyed the wool in a large stock pot here in the studio. The wool has been needlefelted around the image and through the batik fabric. I've added a few twigs, some thread and now finishing up the bead clusters. The piece is attached to an 8"x10" canvas.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mitakuye Oyasin ~ We Are All Related

Mitakuye Oyasin is a Lakota phrase used in refrains and prayers, meaning "we are all related"...
Pronounced  "Metockwe ozsin"
For years, I practiced Lakota Sioux traditions with an organization in New Jersey.  The group now resides in upstate New York.  I am grateful for the time spent honoring the Lakota.
My husband had been gifted several Lakota artifacts, from his grandmother. The pieces were given to Mike's grandfather, William, by a Lakota, after William saved his life in the 1800's.  
KC Willis is a fabric artist, that now dedicates her time to the Lakota living on the
  Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
In a $14 priority mail flat rate box, you can send a bit of  "warmth and caring" to the Lakota people.  I had read that a grandmother of 11, needed socks for her grandchildren. We had fun today gathering socks and toiletries to send to Judy Left Hand. At the store, the check-out lady was watching Mike toss items into the cart, and she said we appeared to be having fun gathering stocking stuffers.
Yes, we are all related.
A ho mitakuye oyasin.

"The Spirit Lives Within" detail image

Detail of "The Spirit Lives Within"
by Leonie Hartley-Hoover
You can bid on this piece now at
Leonie features detailed imagery, beautifully executed beading and embroidery techniques in all her designs.
I've included a close-up of the quilt piece, featuring an embroidered floralscape. I appreciate the hours spent, stitching each flower.
 Leonie has written a descriptive, fascinating story to go with her art quilt piece.
As the open door beckens you to enter the house, what will the key unlock?
 Perhaps your imagination....

Leonie Hartley-Hoover creates for the Quilt Alliance

Want a perfect Christmas present, by one of Canada's leading art quilt designers? Bid Now!
Leonie Hartley-Hoover  has designed "The Spirit Lives Within" House art quilt wall-hanging. She  has donated the piece to the Quilt Alliance, in order to raise funds for the organization, whose goals entail preserving the art of quilting.
Please click on the link to place your bid!