Happy Spring…Happy Easter

Girl with UmbrellaHappy Spring…Happy Easter to all. On Sunday, my daughter, son-in-law and their two children, and my son and his wife and their two children will be coming for dinner. I am happy to have them and have been already preparing for the day. It is good to be busy with things I love.

Fabric BoxMy two days off were most enjoyable. I spent the first day with my two good friends, Joan and Pat. They are the kind of friends that support you…no matter what! We attended a workshop given by Barb Pelowski on making small boxes from fabric. The boxes are made with mat board inside and out. The mat board is covered with thin batting and fabric. The box was easy and fun to make. And best of all, it was simply fun to be with Joan and Pat all day long. I know now that I need more time with my friends and will have to fit it into my schedule somehow.
Fabric Box Inside

Cute little box…yes? Perhaps for jewelry, a sewing box, little desk items, etc.

Yvette giftsJust wanted to share with you a surprise gift from my friend Yvette, who lives in Switzerland. It came in the mail totally unexpected. She is such a lovely artist. She painted the beautiful handmade card and knit the lovely socks for me. She included a box of special sharp pins and a pretty calendar of gorgeous mountains. There were also two DELICIOUS chocolate bars (they were gone before I could take a photo.) Thank you again Yvette. What a delight!

Can’t help but take a moment today to reflect on how important friendship is in people’s lives. I know I cannot do without my friends and I treasure them and their friendship. A special thank you to all my friends. I am so LUCKY. Amicalement, Averyclaire

Home Again

   goodmorningscannedimage-31My stay at my daughter’s is finished and I am home. While I came home completely exhausted, it was a lovely stay. But I confess to missing the children terribly! I was actually depressed for a day or so. I guess I was so busy that coming home to my own laundry, cleaning, etc., seemed boring next to my chores with the children. They actually surprised me and brought dinner over last evening and visited for a while. The dinner was delicious and it was delightful to have more hugs!! Hopefully life will allow more needlearts again.    Averyclaire

Home Again

Temari Ball2A big thank you to Jane for the beautiful gift I received in the mail while I was away in Colorado.   As a winner of her Pay It Forward Award, she sent me a beautiful Temari Ball.   She has made many of them and each one is different.  On her blog she has just recently posted directions for making the core of the Temari Balls.  It is very interesting.  Stop in and take a look at World Embroideries to see how it is done.  Thank you so MUCH Jane for the lovely gift.  I am still working on the gifts for the two who won my Pay It Forward.

Thank you too for all of you who sent well wishes and prayers for my son.  He is recovering slowly and making excellent progress.   In another three to five months or so he will be back to normal.   I was so fortunate to have been able to spend this week or so with him and see for myself how he is doing.   This trip to Colorado was a very special time for us.Sunset in Colorado  Here is one of their lovely sunsets.

 

 

 

 

Buffalo

 

On our return trip we did a little detour and did some middle-of-the-winter touristy things.   We stopped in Custer State Park to see the free roaming buffalo and other animals. Buffalo2  The buffalo amaze us.  

 

 
Pronghorn2
Then the beauty of the Pronghorn antelope is so refined.

 

 

 

 

 

mountain goatWe did a quick visit to Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills and saw a wooly mountain goat grazing.Mt.Rushmore

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Quilted MooseQuilted Moose2On the way home, I did manage to find the quilt shop that Jill from Cottonwood Quilts in Niwot, Colorado told me about.   It was not hard to find and it certainly was well worth the trip.   The owner, Debbie, has done a fantastic job of having a LARGE variety of fabrics, patterns, threads, etc. for her customers.   It is a delightful shop and it seems to be busy with lots of things going on all the time.   They do quite a bit of internet business as well.   So stop in to see them at The Quilted Moose in Gretna, Nebraska.  It is a lovely town just west of Omaha, Nebraska.  It was difficult to walk out of the store without spending a fortune.   I could have bought one of this and one of those and some of these….etc. etc.   Since my sewing room is shamedly stuffed already with things I haven’t finished…I refrained and just picked up some small pieces of fabric I had been seaching for.

 

Fiber HiderOne special find of this trip to Colorado came from The Stitcher’s Garden in Longmont, Colorado.   Nancy showed me a delightful tool called a “Fiber Hider.”    It is super for all kinds of thread or yarn.   One can just slip the looped end under your threads and pull the tail through with the other hooked end.   It is a bit pricey ($30…would make a delicious gift), but once I had it…well I can’t imagine not having one now!!   And I love the little silver turtles.    In the past week, I have used it over and over again!  Don’t know what I did without it.

Prayer Request

rose 1Tomorrow morning early (7:30 AM mountain time), my son, Michael, will undergo serious back surgery.  He was injured in an auto accident two years ago and has suffered great pain all this time. I am asking all of you out there in cyberspace to pray for him and his recovery. To be honest, I am panic stricken and terrified.  A very good friend of mine died one year ago from complications of this same surgery. It would mean a great deal to me if I knew that many internet friends were praying for him.  Thank you in advance.   Averyclaire.

Celebrations

We went to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for a couple of days to help celebrate the birthday of a friend.   It was such a joyful celebration.   The party was a kind of family reunion, where many of the family members had not seen one another for up to 15 years!    

From the sidelines I watched his daughter gently holding her father’s hand and I could see the tenderness and love in their faces as they spoke quietly in the corner.  It was fun to watch the joy on the faces of cousins who were together for the first time in years.  The entire weekend was very uplifting.  Thanks Ray for sharing your birthday with us.

 

It was also a “quilt fix” for me, as my friend, Judy, is a wonderful quilter.  She had many projects to share…some finished…some works in progress.  She inspires me to say the least.  I always find fun and laughter when we are together.   Sadly our time was limited to just a brief visit, but it makes me long for another visit, hopefully soon.

 

Today I share with you one of my works in SLOW progress…some of my Hawaiian quilt blocks.  My daughter, who has a wedding anniversary today, bought me a Hawaiian quilting book on her honeymoon in Hawaii several years ago.   So far I have only three blocks done.  I love to do the needle turned appliqué, but I fear it will be a long time before it is complete.  Her anniversary today inspired me to share this with you.

Time

It was six days of fun, family, and relaxation.  We had a couple of days to ourselves; the children and grandchildren arrived; we hiked; we biked; we canoed; we roasted marshmallows; and we just simply spent time with one another.  We even celebrated one granddaughter’s 8th birthday with candles and cake and gifts.  It was marvelous.  It was a gift to me that they all agreed to come for the weekend.  And then we had a couple of additional days to just relax before coming home to what awaits everyone upon returning home. 

 

My time was spent with family…not much needlework, but I did manage to complete a couple of items, make progress on another, and read a good book.

 

The wool candle mats are from patterns I purchased sometime ago, but still available.  Working with wool is very soothing, very forgiving, quick to do and something I very much enjoy.   I have been collecting bits of old wool for years, have tried my hand at dyeing a bit, and have purchased some lovely wool pieces.  Most of what I use is felted wool fabric, but when I can’t find or create just the right colors, I use wool felt.  This comes in brightly dyed colors more than one could ever wish for. 

 

Sometimes my only enemy is time…not enough of it.  Right now I have time dedicated to promised projects and not enough time for desired art projects of my own.   One day.   For now, I spent the last six days of my time with my family…a very precious gift from them to me.  I am grateful.

The Waning Days of Summer

The last days of summer are here. I took this photo in the garden this past weekend.  Most of my flowers are already spent.  Knowing I need to spend more time at cleaning up in my garden, I patiently await that one necessary burst of energy.  It will come and it will be done eventually.  The days are still hot and the nights are cool.  The skies are blue. The temperatures will be dropping soon.  Perhaps we will have a good “Indian Summer.”  Perfect weather for one more RV outing.   I spent the last few days packing up everything and getting ready to go with the whole family.  The grandchildren are so excited they can’t wait.  I won’t get much sewing done this extended weekend, but the time with my family will be precious.

Works in progress for this weekend are some small hand projects.  A couple of Christmas stockings for the family in Colorado, some wool stitcheries, and perhaps an embroidery.   Small things I can carry with me.  I love to work with wool and wool felt.   I hope to do more of this.  Perhaps I’ll have something to show when we return next week.   For those of you who are on the verge of Autumn weather…enjoy!

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