Tuesday, May 27, 2014


My very first pattern!  A new accomplishment for me!  It is a textile pattern from one of my sketch drawings--Pine Sprig II.  I drew this pencil drawing in my permanent sketchbook back in 2011 of a branch that I picked up on a creek walk, never thinking of doing anything else with it. You can see the original sketch in this blog post. But early this year, I was asked to do a class on textile art, and so I decided to make this drawing the focus of the piece for the class.  I recorded all the steps while finishing the piece, to be able to teach the class.

 THEN . . . duh . . . it occurred to me . . . if I am teaching this one class how to do the piece, why not print the pattern and offer it to others for sale!

This pattern is a very easy starter piece for anyone who is interested in exploring textile wall art.  It covers simple fusing, quilting, couching, and beading to create a finished piece that any nature lover would enjoy.  It would also make a great gift, as it is not a big project, just 11 x 14 inches. I have listed it in my shop here.

Now considering doing other patterns from some of my art . . . the new adventure begins!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

I usually don't do much on Memorial Day, but today I am making it a point to remember my dad.  He was a veteran and he passed 10 years ago.

Today I am remembering that he loved his country, and didn't hesitate to tell you so.  For his work in the oil industry after the war, he had been sent to Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Bahrain, and had been in other parts of the world while in the Navy.  He was keenly aware of his freedoms as being an American and he wanted his family to be aware that they lived in the best place in the entire world!  If anyone could 'preach' about his country, he could.  So today, I am thankful for my dad, LeRoy Clark, his service, and my country.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Thanks Commenters!

This week I have been exploring the ins and outs of blog commenters.  I love the comments that I got from many of you.  They make so much sense to me and encourage me.  I am going to re-publish a few of your comments here.  I hope that other bloggers draw hope from the comments!

Laurie's comment:
I have really noticed a downturn in comments on my blog over the last few years. I really believe it might have something to do with people doing a lot of reading on tablets and phones these days -- it's so much harder to comment on those devices. But I know what you mean; comments are so important, otherwise you think you might be talking to yourself!!

Linda said:
Besides the blogs I visit regularly, mostly fellow teammates, I don't comment very often. I've used many a blog post for it's recipe or tutorial and not commented, but I love the interaction from the fellow bloggers I follow. It's neat getting to know different lives all over the world this way, so I try to make pertinent comments.

Another Linda said:
I think having more readers than commenters is just the nature of blogging. Mine has always been the same way. It seems like the people who comment the most are other bloggers because they understand the work that goes into each post. If I share the post or pictures somewhere else (like Facebook), that's where I get the comments from non-bloggers. It's interesting!

Lizzie said:
I noticed I received more comments when I read more blogs and commented on them . I used to have a daily routine and going through my blog feed...but rarely have the time now.

Edi's comment:
I get the same thing with my blog...a lot more visitors than commenters.
I always wonder if part of it is web bots or spiders giving us false hits?

Thank you, all of my commenters (even if you didn't have your comment published here).  I appreciate your input.  To all of you--Happy Blogging!!!! 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Work finished!

On the 8th of this month, I shared some of my work in progress--see post.    (I reserve Thursday's for my work in progress post!)  I was working half market aprons.

If you remember, I asked for some help in picking out fabric combinations.  I didn't make a big deal of it, but I mentioned that I would send a prize to one of my lucky commenters! (It helps to read carefully to win! :) I chose this set of coasters with a tan coffee drink print on one side and beautiful pink and cocoa hearts on the other to give away!

So, since there was only one comment, I didn't need to use a random selector!  The prize goes to Edi of Etsy's memoriesforlifesb shop! She is a fellow blogger and I appreciate her faithfulness to comment regularly on my blog posts.  Thanks Edi! (Please visit her blog)  Also, Edi has a brand new studio decorated in pink! I think these should match nicely!  Love ya! Edi!

Oh . . . and . . . here are a few of my finished aprons:

And the combination that Edi chose:

Thanks Edi!  
P.S.  You could also use the coasters for wine coasters with your etched wine glasses ;)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A friend's gift!

You can meet the most wonderful people on the internet.  I have a group of blogger friends and appreciate everyone of them!  I learn new things from them, we share out progress and even disappointments, and I fully enjoy getting to know them!  A couple of years back we did a journal swap. My 30-day journal went to Laurie of indulgeyourshelf.  It's a great way to get to know each other.  Laurie loves antiquing and, I'm sure never, never gets rid of anything.  She makes beautiful things with all the lovely items that she finds. You really need to visit her blog--it's such a delight in vintage creativity! The other day when I commented on her blog about a little heart that she had made, she sent it to me!!!  WOW!  What a surprise!

It's hand stitched with a textured pink front (just my color!) and a little darker pink velvet backing.  Laurie and I both love buttons, and this little heart is decorated with two lovely buttons and a piece of ribbon trim.

I added a little ribbon to it and hung it on my bedroom door knob.

So every time I go thru the door, a little smile crosses my face as I remember Laurie and her talent!  

Thanks so much, Laurie!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Blog Comments

Just a little note today about blog comments.  Sometimes I get quite a few, and sometimes not many. It is quite disconcerting sometimes, when I see that 25 people have visited my post, but only one has commented. I wonder if my content is not interesting or engaging.

It helps to evaluate these stats. I'm sure, if you are a blogger, you have experienced this.   You watch your stats and wonder who is reading your posts.  The only way for you to get feedback is for readers to comment. So, my theme for my posts this week will be a tribute to blog commenters . . . .

Thanks to all of you who regularly visit my blog!
Thanks to those who comment!! 
I appreciate everyone of you, even those who don't comment.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Seattle Fun!

Took a short trip to Seattle this week and packed a ton fun into two days!

Here's a recap:

College fastpitch softball with GD Courtney, the catcher:

 then a Mad Hatter tea party for mother's day with artist GD Bella in her hat that she made at her preschool:

Lots of afternoon fun on the deck on a sun shiny Seattle day:

Later that day,  Bella's big brother, Roman's little league game:

and of course stories and fun with G'Pa on that fine Spring day!

Bella and I took a walk after dinner, and watched the movie Frozen until she and sister Ada fell asleep!  A couple of  awesome days for these grands and their grandparents!!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Work in progress, a question, and a prize!

Working lately on half market aprons.  Here one that I think turned out so cute!  I just love this chili pepper fabric!

Since it is Spring, I wanted to use up the yellow fabric.  Here is another combination with the yellow:

I had used this gray fabric to make my DIL an allover apron some time ago, and had some remnants.  Also working on some other combinations:

but . . .
would like your opinion on this next one. It's a cute multicolor print of fancy birds on a white/cream background.  What do you think? What color do I put with it? Try not to be influenced by the blue quilt background :) Options are a pale green gingham, t a bright teal scroll print, light teal butterfly flower print, red/salmon texture print, or an allover tiny floral pale teal print.  Or should I keep looking?






Not so easy is it?  Sometimes the best combination for a particular fabric is hard to choose!   Let me know what you think in the comments and I will share some finished apron pictures next Thursday!  I might even send a set of coasters to one lucky commenter!
Good luck! 
And . . . Thanks!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Textile Tuesday! New Cuff!

Sat down the other day and made a new cuff.  My youngest daughter showed up that afternoon and she commented, later in the day, on how fast I was progressing on the cuff since I was working all the time I was visiting! I finished it in one day!

When she came over, I was doing the embroidery work with stitching and french knots:

A little "unclear" about my finished product, but I kept working . . . adding yo-yos for a Spring look:

Also, pearl buttons, and sequins for the finish:

Reminds me of a sun shiny Spring day! I just listed it here! Wonder if I should make another one??!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Art in Nature

I recently read an article by Shelly Esaak called, "What is Art?" She had a lot to say, but I liked her final description:

"Art is form and content."  

And . . . she had sub points:

"Form is the actual physical materials used by the artist in some principle of design."

My actual materials in the piece above, obviously were pencil, pen, and watercolor.

"Content is idea-based and consists of what the artist meant to portray, how he actually did portray it and how it  is perceived by the beholder."

Much of my own art content has to do with nature--God's creation!  I am enamored of His creativity and some of the best content is found in our natural surroundings. I love to portray what I see there!

"For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky.  Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature." Rom. 1:20 NLT

How do you perceive all the creativity in nature? 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Crazy Quilt Artist Interview

On periodic Fridays, I interview artists that I admire.  Now, this is not the usual blog proprietor/ entrepreneur interview that you see many bloggers do.  I propose to ask questions of a more in-depth nature so you can really get to know the artist. I do not want to ask questions that are already covered in profile or About pages. So please take some time to read those important pages too, if you are interested in getting to know the artist.

This interview I am sure will not disappoint.  If you are at all interested in crazy quilting, as I am, you will want to know Pamela Kellogg of  Kitty and Me Designs.  She has a rich history in creativity!  Her Etsy shop banner is listed below, but it is not her only endeavor, which you will see in the interview.  

Pamela features cute and gorgeous kitty pillows in her shop. 'Cute' because they are little cat replicas, and 'gorgeous' because of the work that Pam puts into them. 

And . . .one of my favorites, a cell phone carrier for a custom order that she did!  Again, gorgeous!  

So I asked Pam:

1)  Your work is so intricate, I love it! Can you tell us what sparked your interest in crazy quilting. How did you get started?

Pam--  "I've been stitching for most of my life.  Needlework has always been my passion.  I discovered contemporary crazy quilting back in 2001 when a friend of mine sent me a copy of a Quilting Arts magazine that featured several modern crazy quilt blocks.  I was so taken with the embroidery and embellishments, I knew I HAD to try it.

"My first attempt was not that great.  I struggled at first with the concept of foundation piecing but after doing a few blocks, it started to click in my mind and eventually, I was able to do it without wasting too much fabric.

"As much as I love piecing blocks (I use an antique Singer Treadle machine to do my piecing), it's the embroidery and embellishments that I really enjoy.  Every technique that I learned since I was 8 years old can be applied to CQ. 

"Anyway, once I started, I was hooked.  Crazy Quilting is truly my passion."

Me:  An understatement, I would say! So next question:

2) As a creative person myself, I have various "work stations" all over my apartment and shuffle my work from place to place as needed. Can you give us any insight into your typical day or your work process? 

Pam's work in process - initial piecing

More detail, and the finished project you can see on her blog.

Pam - "My typical day starts at about 4 a.m.   I love the quietness of the early morning hours.  My husband and I watch the news, we drink coffee and I start stitching right away at 4 a.m.  I stitch until 7:30 and then I straighten up the house, do any cleaning and laundry that needs to be done and run errands if I have any.  By noon, I try to get to my email, my Etsy shop, my blog, Facebook and do paperwork if I have any.  I like all my ducks in a row so to speak.  I don't like getting behind on anything.

"Anyway, when I get my chores done, I'm back to stitching, usually around 4 in the afternoon.  I sit in the living room, listen to the television and stitch until my husband gets home from work.  We eat dinner and I stitch again until I go to bed usually around 8:30 p.m.  I'm an "early to bed, early to rise" person.  

"I generally take one day a week to sew up new blocks or, I use my sewing day to assemble anything that I needs to be finished.  I also spend one day a week with my mom.

"My husband and I spend time on the weekends in the Summer going flea markets where I look for vintage things I can use on my crazy quilt pieces.  Thankfully, he enjoys flea markets as much as I do."

I also love flea markets, and find awesome supplies to resale in my supply shop, but that is another story, on to the next question:

3) According to the profile on your Etsy shop, you were involved with making patterns for counted cross stitch before doing crazy quilting. Any hints about making or selling patterns?

Pam-- "Yes, I designed counted cross stitch on a professional level for many years.  I worked with needlework and craft magazines as well as manufacturers such as The DMC Corporation, Bucilla, Kreinik Manufacturing and Charles Craft. 

"I started to lose interest in it once I caught the Crazy Quilt bug.  Little by little, crazy quilting just took over and it became my main focus.

"One thing I struggled with in CQ work, was keeping my stitches even.  I guess I was used to stitching on the grid with counted cross stitch.  One day it occurred to me that I could use Waste Canvas and charted patterns to stitch the seams on my crazy quilts.  Waste canvas is a loosely woven mesh canvas that's used for stitching cross stitch designs on non cross stitch fabrics.   When stitching is complete, the waste canvas threads pull out from underneath the embroidery.

"I charted out a few patterns and starting stitching my seams with waste canvas and soon, Elegant Crazy Quilt Seam Treatments was born.  In my first book, I explain the technique and offer a collection of charted patterns for use on crazy quilts.  There are now 3 volumes along with several how to books.  And now for the big news!!!  Starting with Spring 2015 issue, I am the new owner and publisher of Crazy Quilt Gatherings magazine!  This is the only magazine devoted entirely to crazy quilting!  It's published quarterly and is loaded with techniques, patterns and plenty of crazy quilt eye candy!

"And, coming September 1st, I will be releasing a 2015 Crazy Quilt Calendar featuring the work of 13 Crazy Quilt artists!    My mission now is to offer inspiration to everyone who enjoys needlework of any kind!  My books and publications can be found here:  http://www.magcloud.com/user/kitty-and-me "

WOW!  That is big news!  We will certainly look forward to the magazine! 

Now for the last question and a quote from one of my favorite movies:  "Whatever else anything is, it oughta begin by being personal." So the personal question about family:

4) I see by your Etsy 'About' page that you are a family shop. it must be a special treat to work with and be supported by family. I assume it was not always so, how did they get started helping you? 

Pam -- "Yes, my Etsy shop is our family business.  My parents are both retired so dad takes care of shipping and my mom has always enjoyed making things so this gives her what she calls her, "pin money".

"My mom never played with my sister and I in the traditional sense.  She wasn't one to sit on the floor and play board games or Barbies.  Mom would color with us but that's about it for traditional play time.  Instead, my mother would teach us how to do things.  How to make things.  She taught us to bake, how to stitch, how to crochet, how to sew, she would play piano and we would sing.  That's how mom played with us.  So we just grew up with our creativity always being nurtured.

"For me, I need an outlet for the things I like to make and Etsy is the perfect outlet but I alone can't make enough things to keep a shop full so I asked my mom one day if she wanted to make some things and she was all for that.  Then I asked my sister and she was willing as well. 

"So working together just makes sense.  I take care of the shop, I list everything and handle communicating with our customers.  My mom actually packs our orders since we store our inventory there and my dad takes care of shipping.  Basically, dad runs to the Post Office and keeps track of things to make sure that everything gets delivered."

Thanks Pam for the wonderful, personal interview.  And readers, please stop by Pam's shop for a visit!