A little bit of this and, a little bit of that, makes a little bit of me.

Archive for the ‘friendship’ Category

I Care


To make a difference in one’s life, I don’t have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful, or perfect. I just have to care.

I care ‘cuz it is what I feel. No condition. No selfish motive or that I want something in return. Genuine love=care=trust.

Have you do a good deed for the day? It’s very gratifying! Check out Days For Girl Central Oregon Chapter and see how you may help.

Thank you for stopping in and sharing my blog with friends. It brings me great pleasure, once again after a long hiatus, to take you along on my journey of self discovery, self love, and crafty (mostly wet-felting, hand appliqué, and quilting of late) adventures! Visit me on Facebook here for more inspiring projects.  As always, they are FREEDon’t you just love my latest obsession:  Modified Baa-ble Border Collies and Bunny hats modeled by my sweet woolie peeps–Angela (left) and Sara (right)? I can’t wait to tell you about my new “stable” yarn I’ve been playing with in the new year replacing Patons Classic Worsted and Lion Brand Amazing!

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, Instagram, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Be a Rainbow


Imagine, I’ve had so many rainbows in my clouds. I’ve had a lot of clouds, but I’ve had so many rainbows.~~Maya Angelou

Maya’s words touched me deeply, moving me from deep inspiration to laughter. In life, some rain must fall; when the rain halts, the sun comes back and a rainbow forms. Sometimes it’s just a matter of me looking for it. Seek out your rainbow. Better yet. Be a rainbow in someone’s cloud today instead of his/her down-time, spare-time, part-time, or sometime.

It’s been another hectic week here with my husband gone for a two-week business trip. Being a taxi-mom is exhausting. Yet, I am thankful for only one teen is taking a couple of classes this Fall in local high school. No more running to different rehearsals, performances, clubs, planning meetings… Less mileage this year, I hope. I do however enjoy some crafting time while waiting for one of the teens in school’s parking lot.

To celebrate Plucktember and Back-to-School, Back to Scholara knitted hat pattern–is FREE ’til midnight, September 9 Paris time. Just hit Buy it Now and then Use Coupon buttons. Price will automatically adjusted to ZERO. Cables and hats is a beautiful combination. Thank you, Julie, for sharing the beautiful pattern. I managed to snag a copy just now during the free promotion.

John and Jane are part of a new Knit-A-Long and will be FREE until October 1st. Use coupon code JJKAL at check-out. Be sure to join the KAL fun for more discount offers and winning lots of prizes.

Imagine, I’ve had so many rainbows in my clouds. I’ve had a lot of clouds, but I’ve had so many rainbows.~~Maya Angelou

Maya’s words touched me deeply, moving me from deep inspiration to laughter. In life, some rain must fall; when the rain halts, the sun comes back and a rainbow forms. Sometimes it’s just a matter of me looking for it. Seek out your rainbow. Better yet. Be a rainbow in someone’s cloud today instead of his/her down-time, spare-time, part-time, or sometime.

It’s been another hectic week here with my husband gone for a two-week business trip. Being a taxi-mom is exhausting. Yet, I am thankful for only one teen is taking a couple of classes this Fall in local high school. No more running to different rehearsals, performances, clubs, planning meetings… Less mileage this year, I hope. I do however enjoy some crafting time while waiting for one of the teens in school’s parking lot.

To celebrate Plucktember and Back-to-School, Back to Scholara knitted hat pattern–is FREE ’til midnight, September 9 Paris time. Just hit Buy it Now and then Use Coupon buttons. Price will automatically adjusted to ZERO. Cables and hats is a beautiful combination. Thank you, Julie, for sharing the beautiful pattern. I managed to snag a copy just now during the free promotion.

John and Jane are part of a new Knit-A-Long and will be FREE until October 1st. Use coupon code JJKAL at check-out. Be sure to join the KAL fun for more discount offers and winning lots of prizes.

Here is the perfect accessory for layering and those cooler days. Windown Pane Poncho crochet pattern is FREE ’til September 10th. Make it in almost any yarn (just adjust your starting chain and hook) or try it in a silky yarn or thread and pair with silky pants for an evening look!

Thank you for stopping in and sharing my blog with friends. It brings me great pleasure to take you along on my journey of self discovery, self love, and crafty adventures! Visit me on Facebook here for more inspiring projects. As always, they are FREE. (A quick-knit finished in Manos del Uruguay Classica yarn below for a sweet friend is being pampered in conditioner and soaking up the sun.)

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

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Here is the perfect accessory for layering and those cooler days. Windown Pane Poncho crochet pattern is FREE ’til September 10th. Make it in almost any yarn (just adjust your starting chain and hook) or try it in a silky yarn or thread and pair with silky pants for an evening look!

Thank you for stopping in and sharing my blog with friends. It brings me great pleasure to take you along on my journey of self discovery, self love, and crafty adventures! Visit me on Facebook here for more inspiring projects.   As always, they are FREE. (A quick-knit finished in Manos del Uruguay Classica yarn below for a sweet friend is being pampered in conditioner and soaking up the sun.)

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Tap into the Mind


You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lost it.” ~~Robin Williams

Deep down beyond all doubts, beyond all fears, I know I can accomplish everything that I put my mind to. Tap into that. I Can. This was the mantra I shared with my 16-year-old this evening. Life is good especially when I can have a quiet, relaxing day with one of my children and that I’m a mother, not a teacher, not a friend.

Presenting today’s knitting inspiration–Pink Onyx.  It’s a cute top in DK-weight yarn, currently FREE. Special giveaway from the designer: “For those who finished this pullover by 30th October, 2014, you have a chance to win for a free pattern of your choice from my designs! Update your project page with your best shot/s of this pullover on you.  Be creative, be artistic, have fun with your camera! Make sure you mention you enter this sweepstake. I will choose one winner and one runner-up by 5th November. A winner gets two free patterns from my designs, and a runner-up gets one.” I may make mine long sleeves.

Make your own bunny with this FREE crocheted pattern. The adorable amigurumi would brighten someone’s day, for sure.

Hope your day was just as fabulous as mine–spontaneous and fun (with PDXKnitterati and bikenewsgirl even though it was brief.) Don’t forget to visit my Facebook page here for more inspiring projects.   As always, they are FREE.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Everyday Anew


Not every sky will be blue and not every day is springtime. So on the spiritual path a person learns to find this kind of happiness without needing nice things to happen on the outside. Rather, you find happiness by being who you really are. This isn’t mystical. Young children are happy being who they are. The trick is to regain such a state when you are grown and have seen the light and dark sides of life.~~Deepak Chopra

Maybe cleaning the clutter from my life may help me find the things that have been there all along. I do believe I possess that child-like innocence that helps me find happiness in the simplest things in my everyday life. And the sky is always blue. Every day anew…remembering my true nature is of utmost importance!

Today’s adventure in knitting–isn’t Kelcema adorable? It’s a quick knit. Thank you, Berroco, for the free knitted pattern.

You know how much I love cardigans and have way too many in my stash and in my favorites. The one I will knit soon is Beth Cardigan. Timeless and elegant. Though the complimentary pattern comes with instruction for only bust size 32″–with stitch gauge given, it’s easy to multiply out and adjust the size to your needs. I certainly have to do it on a regular basis to decrease the size of things. Some math work and try-as-you-go are required, for sure. It’s doable.

With the look of a vintage ski sweater and just the right warmth, the classic Moominblankie would make a perfect welcome for a holiday baby. The knitted blanket pattern is FREE.  I love that red heart infant!

I’m a collector of baby blanket patterns as I love knitting for charities. I can’t wait to crochet up Lorna Miser’s Hugs and Kisses Blanket!! Really cute and creative! Thank you, Yarnspiration for the complimentary pattern.

That’s all for today while I pack again for a road trip.  Visit my Facebook page here for more inspiring projects.   As always, they are FREE.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Am I listening?


Even my normally cool-as-a-cucumber teen get unnerved when it comes to starting back school this week, feeling the jitters about the year ahead as a junior.

Since the kids were born, my husband and I worked hard to provide a safe haven for ’em–a place free from hurtful attacks on appearance, intelligence, and abilities. “But siblings are supposed to knock each other down and toughen each other up.”  I can just hear the naysayers say. I need someone in my corner–to have my back–to believe in me when I don’t believe in myself. When that person is someone who lives in my house knowing my every weakness and fault, it can be a life-changer. I believe my kids can do this for each other and for those learning how to live by watching us live. I am having this important conversation with my oldest daughter. Yes. The best thing I can do is teach MY children to cherish their siblings. This is when and how children learn love, care and respect others. This does not come naturally and I, as their mother, must recognize the role I play when I have been in the position of first teacher.

As parent, I try my best to listen to the rants, complaints, and whining of the less-dominant child. Watch how my children play and interact. Does one always win? Is one always the boss or bossier? My children are all different. Their birth orders differ. Their genders differ. Family finance changes over time–and commodities that belonged to the older one are now being passed down or shared–can make my kids think now one being favorite/spoiled.  More than ever before, I try to help my kids understand sibling rivalry and the dynamics of living under one roof.  How do you approach this sensitive topic?

Super-nice pattern from Tanis Fiber Arts this morning just in case you are looking for a new sweater cardigan pattern to knit. Lady Sunnyside is available for FREE this week with coupon code SUNNY. It has two options for the fronts–cables or lace. Which will you pick?

With college football season approaching fast, Football Beanie of Awesomeness by Joni Memmott/BriAbbyit is just perfect. The crochet pattern is FREE. And I’ll bet you can hook it up in two weeks, in time for the kick-off.

Don’t you love my new wings?  Visit my Facebook page here to see the unconventional way of blocking and for more inspiring projects.   As always, they are FREE.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Find My Tribe


The ones that make me feel the most ME. The ones that lift me up and help me remember who I really am.

The ones that remind me a blip in the road is just that–a blip–not to mistake it for an earthquake. Even if it were to be an earthquake, they would be there with an earthquake emergency supply kit.

They are the ones–when I walk out of a room–they make me feel like a better person than when I walked in. They are the ones even if I don’t see ’em face-to-face as often as I’d like, I see ’em heart-to-heart. I love my tribe.

Today’s special knitting treat is Knitarin-Karin Hess‘s new design Pulswärmer Rosemarie–in both English and German–FREE ’til August 24th.  No coupon code needed.

For you Whovians, this is just what the Doctor’s ordered.  Scrappy Tardis Afghan crochet pattern is FREE. Thank you, Jessica, for the Doctor Who pattern instruction.

Are you ready to inhale some fresh crispy, autumn air and hang out? Fall is somewhat a rebirth. It always makes me feel vibrant and excited, like knitting up Lehdet. Can you read Finnish? Mia Saranen, the designer, would love to hear from you. She needs help in translating the pattern to English. Meanwhile, I’m forging ahead with the help of Google Translate.

Check out my Facebook page here for more inspiring projects.  As always, they are FREE.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

A Balancing Act


“For me, when I am really hurting, the thing that helps is a complete lack of judgement combined with compassion combined with waiting it out combined with practical measures to prevent harm combined with practical measures to help snap me out of it. In all my years only one person has gotten that balance right.”  Written by a friend who knows whereof she speaks, the best, clearest comment I’ve heard or read on the topic of suicide. Her latest article here.

Be watchful of your loved ones in this time of stress and change. It’s easy, if you’ve practiced like me, in appearing happy and well when in fact I often am not. I will be and know how to manage my needs by reaching out, creating and recharging; many do not. Watch for the signs. Reach with love. We’re all feeling the strain these days–some more than others.

“If you want to prevent suicide, if you want to support your friends who deal with depression, reach out to them when they are at their best.”~~The Liberated Kitchen.

I’m not super steady. However, at least in my crazy, I know I’m loved. I’m welcome to “reach out.”  I’m trying every single day to stay in the moment. For many, the idealized “reaching out” is one of the most challenging and crippling painful steps to take. Insanely crippling. So, you are right on, Joy. The balance is precarious when I wish I am better.  As is the balancing act, I must walk every day.  Thank you for sharing your heart and soul, Joy.

Life is always brighter on the lighter side.  Try something new.  Be adventurous.  Imagine my pleasant surprise seeing Cassandra‘s new design released today!  I love stranded-knit hats. Charlotte–a charming fair-isle tam with a eye-catching star burst crown–is FREE FOR 1 WEEK! Just put it in your cart, click “Use a coupon code,” and the price will adjust to zero automatically.

Another free stuff is Samaak, a knitted shawl by an Oregonian designer, good ’til August 21st. Use coupon code RedFish at check-out. Thank you, Nance, for the lovely pattern.

Are you ready for Fall? How does Perfect Office Crochet Jacket sound? Perfect, indeed. Courtesy of Yarnspirations, the crochet pattern designed by Lorna Miser is yours free-of-charge.

Check out my Facebook page here for morer inspiring projects.  As always, they are FREE.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

3 a.m. Inspiration


Reliving First Friday at Quiltworks is as fun as it did last week. Not kidding. It literally kept me up past 3 a.m.! So many beautiful quilts and so different. I am particularly intrigued by the different ways in which free-motion quilting is incorporated as part of the art.

This month was as wonderful as ever with June Jaeger as featured quilter and SAQA as featured group.  (From right to left:  June Jaeger, Kristin Shields, and Patti Stewart.)

I’m not much of an artistic quilter, nor can I create pictures like these. But I really admire and enjoy looking at ’em. There’s a lot of talent in the quilts and wall hangings. Take your time looking at these and tell me if there is something really pops out at you or inspires you in any way.

Doesn’t that look like a fun party?  We all love shows and festivals for different reasons—attend for different reasons. Me? I enjoy the fun, laughter, textile/quilt artists sharing their amazing quilt art, talent and camaraderie.

Let’s not forget the amount of effort Marilyn, Dave, and their hard working staff put into this monthly event for their customers and the community. Coordinating, hanging, setting up, picking out door-prizes, serving homemade delicious appetizers, beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverage …are no easy tasks. Thank you everyone at Quiltworks. You gals and guy are awesome!  I love you all.

The exhibits are up through end of August. Trust me you won’t want to miss seeing this incredible collection of masterpieces up close when you get this rare chance. Stop by if you are in town and show your love and support to both the shop and artists.

Summer is flying by.  August already, along with the fast approaching back-to-school. Wow…..so much happens this time of year as I prep for teens’ Fall schedules and figuring out wooly projects. What’s on your plate?  (Another post on this luxurious silk mittens soon.)

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek His grace. And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.~~Max Lucado

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Wisdom from the Heart


The world is nothing but my perception of it.  I see only through myself.  I hear only through the filter of my story.  I will live by my own choices and consciousness.  For then, my life is my own and I am truly free.

At times, I don’t see myself as much of a meditative person, especially since sitting around for long periods of time–focusing on mantra, image or contemplating spiritual concepts–seemed boring and useless to me.  Under stress, my attention is immediately turned toward crafting (lately, it’s quilting/sewing.)

Within a few moments of stitching, the body’s relaxed.  The mind is unfrazzled.  Free-hand doodling (aka free-motion quilting) with needle and thread, in the home sewing machine, is liberating–perfect relief from stress, slowing down the pace of the modern life.

The effects of this practical turning of attention were more than I could have ever expected.  “Cuz I experienced such relief from neck relaxation, naturally, my attention would turn to other areas of my body gradually, more and more over time–until I eventually began noticing subtle sensations at the soles of my feet and then the top of my head.  Anything distracts me is balancing.  When life is crazy, it’s good to take time to do something that relaxes me, finding a way of breathing artistic life into materials–whether it be yarn, roving, fabric, paper, paint, or pencil.

The more aware I became of the sensations in my body, the more life was working out for me.  Such that the particulars of life were transpiring in ways that made me aware of possibilities that I never thought possible for me.  Sounds weird?

It has everything to do with awareness of the sensations within the body structure–rather than imagining or focusing the mind on any thought, image or sound.  As soon as I was sewing or knitting, my whole body rejoiced as I suddenly recognized that–not only was I already used to practicing meditation–it was taking me way deeper into that practice, through crafting.

I have become consciously aware of subtle sensations in my body.  When an habitual thought occupies my mind, I can immediately recognize and experience its corresponding feeling.   In that recognition, the habit dissolves (most of the time, anyway.)

Today, I went through a strong purification process.   It felt as if my entire body was passing through a fire, and all the while, I smiled at the pain and tears as they arose and passed away.  It was a great day–with an irresistible Absolute Bag, designed by Marilyn Ulrich of Quiltworks–added to my wardrobe necessity.

“Wow, you made that?  How did you do that?  Where did you get that pattern, design, tool…etc?”  Is this something your hear a lot?

I consider myself blessed as I am surrounded by amazing textile artists, fabulous quilters who are very encouraging. (From left to right: June Jaeger, Laura Wasilowski, Jackie Gehring, and Rosalie Dace at Quilters Affair–Picnic in the Park with Jennifer Keltner)

Guild night was fantastic. I enjoy connecting with people and to learn skills passed down from other generations–skills my grandparents knew.   Next year’s challenge is officially out.  You will see a lot about that in coming months.

Crafting isn’t just good for the soul.  It’s also good for the body and mind.  Americans spend more than $29 billion a year on crafting—a figure that has remained pretty stable in spite of the wobbly economy.  Craft making is on a pendulum, indeed.  Do you have a crafting/meditation story to share?

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

The Bug (Repost–Third Time a Charm)


(Forgive me, please. I had to delete the previous posts due to technical difficulties.) I confess. It’s true. I’ve caught the quilting bug in huge strides fearlessly. A playful path is the shortest road to happiness.

It all started when I participated in PNW Modern Quilt Guild Meet-up last August with some fantastic peeps from my guild. Beyond amazing. Full three-day of excitement, experience, friendship, workshops, inspiration, sewing, eating, walking…

and don’t forget about eating. Portland Cartopia is da best. (I did take a ton of pictures but they are stuck in my old computer. Some day I hope to archive ’em.)

After breakfast on Sunday, we drove to Cool Cottons and waited outside for 45 minutes to be first of 40 crazy quilters to get a free 4-pound scrap bags.

The catch? Each lucky recipient needs to make something quilted using some or all of the scraps and may add one solid for background. (Shown is just a few of the bag.)

What was I getting myself into? I felt pretty dorky as I wasn’t even quilting then. I only made this bag (inspired by this pictorial) for the Robert Kaufman-sponsored tote bag swap two days before the trip (hand-stitched the lining and quilted the straps on the way there.)

The following weeks, I surfed, surfed, and surfed for pattern ideas and found none strike my beginner fancy. When in doubt, design your own. That’s the ticket. Here’s the prototype.

It worked out for the best too since I can’t sew a perfect 1/4″ seam worth a dime, anyway lol Improv quilting is my best friend! So liberating for me to find other women who share the same interest in cutting up fabric into little tiny pieces and sewing them back together as I do. I used up nearly every piece from Cool Cottons’ scrap bag, coupling with one Kona Solid Natural as background and binding. To meet my guild challenge, I made up various sizes of Ohio Star, double stars plus various wonky blocks with the scraps. Personally, it’s a monumental challenge.

Thanks to generous bloggers and guide members, youtube, magazines, books, and gazillion photos taken from past quilt shows/exhibits, the challenge top and pieced backing were finished and sandwiched in late October. I attempted to hand quilt it. Hah. It sat, sat, and idled ’til a week before deadline. From the start, I wanted to do the quilting myself. I was too scared to start. No more time. No more excuse. It’s serious action time to take a free-motion quilting class from sweet Jill Monley at Quiltworks. I quilted two straight days after the Jil’s 6-hour class–free hand, no marking, without a specific plan–quilting’s in after consuming over a thousand yard of Aurifil 50 wt thread. Yep, the 52″ x 64″ quilt is heavily quilted. I just love it. Beautiful drape with great cuddly handle. Next up, the miter-corner binding. I did it with the sewing machine and walking foot. All finished in time for the group shoot. (I ripped out the binding right after group photo so I may execute the invisible binding seam by hand. Crazy, right?!)

There were many happy “first” and fond memories in making this quilt. First “club”. First Quilting meet-up. First quilt challenge (double-dipping.) First design from scratch. First free-motion quilting in my regular sewing machine. It’s a perfect “what not to do” quilt (like quilting with a plan!)

// My Ohio Star challenge quilt details (click here) via Handstitch Studio.

It’s all like a dream, isn’t it? That’s my story. A new crafting charter. Since then, I have taken one more free-motion quilting class from Jill and a sewing curves without pin class by Stacy Vanderlip at BJ’s Quilt Basketand gave birth to 6 more quilts. Yep. Not a typo–SIX quilts. Three of which are global fabric challenges. If you follow me on Facebook, you already knew that. Although quilting was not a part of my family heritage–like it or not–it has become a part of my children’s lives as I indulge my long-time passion for quilts and fabric as an artist.

Now, how do I know I’m addicted?

  • People are cool but quilting is my preferred social activity.
  • I carry a quilt
  • I carry a quilt (as I do with my knitting and spinning) with me at all times ‘cuz I never know when I’ll have a spare minute to add some hand stitching.
  • I legitimately don’t understand folks who say they don’t quilt.
  • I honestly can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday than surfing the net for quilt images, ideas, tutorials, or reading a quilting book, and drinking chai.
  • I buy more quilting books even though I have a stack of ’em that haven’t been read yet.

Joining Central Oregon Modern Quilt Guild (part of a bigger, global organization The Modern Quilt Guild) last year has been the best move. The generous, supportive members gave me all the confidence needed to experiment beyond a beginner quilter’s limit. I have learned so much since last summer. My first challenge quilt (part of COMQG Special Exhibit in this year’s Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show) will always hold a special place in my memory! If you’ve been/are sitting on the fence to cross to the “bright” side, find a local guild to join and jump right in today.

Don’t get me wrong. I still knit and spin. Just need to stretch more hours of a day to fit more play time in. What’s on your plate on this glorious, summery day?

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)