Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Wardrobe

Happy New Year, everyone! I wish you all a healthy, fulfilling and prosperous 2011.

I started this blog as a reminder that being positive is important to my mental health -- finding joy in the little things in life, and choosing not to dwell on nastiness. For 2011, I resolve to continue to embrace the things that make me happy: being creative, playing with my dogs, enjoying the company of friends and family.

A dear friend uses the expression "She has the same clothes to get glad in," meaning we all have a choice in how we relate to the world. We can internalize hurts and slights until they make us bitter or let them roll off our backs. The latter isn't easy, but I vow to put on my "glad" clothes every morning and greet the day with a sense of wonder and gratitude.

My new "resolution wardrobe" needs lots of fun accessories, and these are two that I finished in the last couple of days. I love bracelets with dangles, and what better reminder than something new and fun to wear. :-) I'd love to know if you made artful resolutions -- please leave a comment and have a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hippo Holidays

I did it! I finished my holiday gift list last night when I whipped up this ensemble for Mom. I haven't worked quite this asymmetrically before, but rather like it. It took a while to figure out how to attach the hippo dangle to the clasp (duh, a jump ring!). Wooden charm, silver, pressed glass, mossy agate and green zebra jasper.

Wishing all of you a merry holiday (whichever you may celebrate!) and a safe and prosperous new year. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dia de los Muertos

Isn't this a fun necklace? My sister loves "Day of the Dead" so this will be perfect. Quite a few of her students (kindergarten and first grade) are from Mexico so I bet this will be a hit with them, too. I haven't done wrapped loops in a while so the first few weren't very good, but muscle memory kicked in by the end. I have two little bits of chain left, so she'll get some earrings, too.

All of a sudden, my eyes are acting their age -- it is getting harder to focus on close-up work. I've never had to deal with that before since I was always near-sighted until I had LASIK surgery. Darn this getting older stuff!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Blast From The Past

Such an exciting photo, eh? :-) I admit that this pile of blocks doesn't look like much, but I have been working on them off and on (mostly off) for years. I started collecting fabrics for the original quilt in about 1994, but put it aside when the assembly was beyond my sewing skills. I put the top together a couple of years ago, and decided on a different border.

So what to do with the pieces I had already cut? Instead of sewing onto scrap fabrics at the beginning and ending of a line of chain piecing, I started making these "bonus" blocks. I had enough pieces cut that I could just grab a pair of lights and darks and start sewing without a lot of deep thought. I'm so used to doing that now that I get a little cranky when I'm in a rush and don't have a bonus block handy!

Now I'm looking for the perfect fabric to go in the alternate blocks. That is always a challenge when working with such scrappy blocks, so the hunt is on!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Nature's Artwork

We've gotten over 6" of snow since last night and it is still coming down. The path I shoveled for the dogs this morning has an inch on it in just an hour! We're supposed to get snow every day until Christmas Eve, so I will be bonding with my snow shovel...

I love the way water freezes on the drain chains (they work better than metal downspouts in the winter). The ice takes on the contours of the links but almost offset somehow. Maybe it is just an illusion due to the refraction of light through the ice, but it is a great effect.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

All Chained Up!

I should have worked on a quilt today, but I needed a bit of instant gratification. This bracelet took less than a day from start to finish, so I figure that qualifies. I wove the chain first, then added the beads. Getting the tension right on the beads was tricky (it took 3 tries...). The bling from the crystals is fun, but the chain is more fluid without them. Now that I have the hang of it, I want to make the plain chainmaille version.

I hope you're all doing well and not too stressed by the upcoming holidays. I haven't started my shopping so that is tomorrow's project. We're due to get some warmer weather by the weekend so our snow is melting off fast. My little dogs love to play in the snow, except when they sink in... At least it is warm enough for a decent walk (no one of us like to spend much time outside when it is below freezing!) Cheers!