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

Archive for the ‘Own Design’ Category

Reflection


I’m still swimming in reflection, excitement, and gratitude.

From my family to yours, here’s to a firework-filled 2016.

I have so much in store and can’t wait to live, breathe, experience, explore, experiment, and share ’em! For today, I’m sending sending you all my LOVE!!

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. Don’t forget to sign up for Susanna IC Winter Mystery Knit-along. 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, Instagram, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

New Year. New Day.


with new possibilities.

Today, I start a new chapter in my life.

365 blank pages. I decide what goes in ’em. Rest assured I’ll fill ’em to make it the best chapter ever.

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 FREE.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

ღ¸.•*””*•.¸¸ ”
ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

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

Talent and/or Gifted


What do you think of so-called talent or being gifted? Me? Neither. Even the famous artists had to start somewhere. I don’t become a Van Gogh or Mozart overnight.

When I want to knit or quilt, I try techniques and learn new skills. By practicing these, I see my “art” develop and feel myself grow as an artist, a knitter, a quilter, a spinner, a crafter…a human being. I am growing my talent each and every day. So are you.

If I had a gift, it was my desire. My desire to create. My desire to learn everything under the blazing sun. My desire to push past every point of frustration–where I felt I couldn’t do it or sew a 1/4″ seam–where I was merely too embarrassed that I didn’t want to show anybody.

It’s all learning–every step of the way. When I knit, sew, or doodle passionately every day, I learn something new. So what I weren’t born with a talent or gift. I sure can learn a skill. We are all born artists, after all. Go for it.

Are you ready for autumn? Today’s selection for queue enlightenment Horizons Hat (click link to FREE pattern)–easy, warm, and comfy with a fun reversible waffle stitch pattern. It’s slouchy enough to fit around the hair when you have it up in a bun. The hat is worked in lace-weight, held doubled; a light-fingering yarn would be a good substitute. To commemorate Tsunami Knits’ first Ravelry pattern launched, this perfect stash-busting pattern is FREE with coupon code lovefall, good through Monday, August 31.

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 quilting of late) adventures! Visit me on Facebook here for more inspiring projects. As always, they are FREE.

Sunriver, Oregon

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

ღ¸.•*””*•.¸¸ ”
ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

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

Love More


Do you believe that Dr. King was not an inspirational self-help guru, but, an activist around issues of race, class, and poverty–all of which are hidden from view by this act of quotation?

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.~~Martin Luther King, Jr.

To believe that love and light are not the foundation of activism and social change is to completely miss the point of activism. This statement is only self-help material if you don’t understand the radical nature of love and the danger people all over the world face as they try to change their lives and communities. There is nothing hiding in this quote. Bringing love, light, and nonviolence in the face of oppression is speaking truth to power.

…hate is *too* great a burden to bear.”

It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. I need to love more, today and every day.

Today’s selection for queue enlightenment Playground Shawl (click link to FREE pattern)–is a fun, mindless knit. Not only versatile and easily adaptable, it’s great for an autumn wrap! Lightweight or substantial–take your pick. It’s perfect for any age to wear while the weather starts to cool off for fall. ENJOY!

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 quilting of late) adventures! Visit me on Facebook here for more inspiring projects. As always, they are FREE.

My first “juried” quilt Life Twirls On was in the “Black to White Quilt Challenge Exhibit”
in Quilt!Knit!Stitch! show last week.


Black to White Quilt Challenge Exhibit
in Quilt!Knit!Stitch! show in Portland, Oregon last week.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

ღ¸.•*””*•.¸¸ ”
ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, Instagram, 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!

ღ¸.•*””*•.¸¸ ”
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!

ღ¸.•*””*•.¸¸ ”
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!)

Delight of the Sight


The more I see

courtesy of Gary Miller Photography

and respect others good qualities

Snow-in on February 8, 2014

the more I open to and develop those good qualities in myself.

Curing fibromyalgia…impossible?  Read Liz’s story and learn how she healed herself from this challenging condition.  Thank you, Kelly the Kitchen Kop, for the post!

Love making more face and body cleaning pads–Go GREEN!

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

ღ¸.•*””*•.¸¸ ”
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!)

To Be Better


My goal is not to be better than anyone else, but, to be better than I used to be.  Here I’m referring to my fiber passion.  But, how?  I like to be specific about the things I could do to improve myself.  I need a refresher and adjust my attitude.

Last week, my prayer was answered.   A friend from Team Jazz Hands recruited me to join Nerd Wars (not the TV show or movie) on Ravelry.  Every project that I do, I try to tie it in to a Broadway or movie musical.  It’s been great fun so far planning projects to fulfill nerdy challenges.

For my first dissertation in my first Nerd Wars, I have chosen crochet freeform as my New Frontier challenge with concentration on Irish Crochet (lace) study.

When Kate Middleton walked down the aisle at her wedding to Britain’s Prince William, the lace that adorned her gown was immediately copied in fashion centers around the world.

For centuries lace has been a fashion favorite, where in the late 19th century it decorated the wardrobes and homes of only the wealthiest members of society.  1930s fashion was an era of feminine and romantic style as influenced by America’s captivation with silver screen stars who wore sensual silks, luxurious lace and backless gowns.

1950s style marks an era of feminine glamour… ’50s clothing inspired women to embrace their figures with hourglass silhouettes and hip-hugging cuts a la the pencil skirt and wiggle dress…and not without the elegant embellishment of lace.

Another sample for a crochet class

I’ve had the passion for making lace since I was in my teen. Next three months of studying a new form of crocheting is thrilling to me.  I love accessing the creative side of my brain.

The constraints of the tournament will motivate me to move this study along in a good pace.  As each motif is small and portable, I can consistently crochet at least one or two a day. This project will take 3 months as it involves a lot of trials and errors, ripping, and re-doing. Mid-way would be having individual scrumbles all done up and have their placements against my tunic template. I will concentrate on picking a mesh design (or a few) to use for making up the background and joining the scrumbles, then, writing up an essay to support my thesis and what I’ve learned specifically and without wandering.

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Paisley (light fingering Wool/Nylon, Red/Pink): 1.5” x 3.5”
Ridged Leaf (light fingering Wool/Nylon Yellow/Orange): 3” x 3.5”
and Curly-edge Leaf (Bulky Alpaca Wool, Maroon): 2.5” x 7.5”
Hook 4mm (G)]
Small Leaf (Worsted Merino, Hot Pink): 2” x 4”

Project Summary:  Freeform/Irish Crochet study. The latter is totally foreign to me. Through the process, I like to make a freeform tunic with the help of my freeform knitting knowledge/skill already in my tool box.  I don’t quite get the presentable way to crochet/join the pieces together in a garment yet.  Instead, I did a knitted mock-up for a visual guide while I progress in the study.  People sketch with pencil and paper.  Me?  With yarn and needles.

Pattern:  Freeform crochet, by some definitions, is a combination of stitches and colors, worked in a multi-directional way. Style of freeform typically doesn’t follow a pattern. It involves a combination of small pieces of knitting and crochet into patches (scrumbles,) that later be joined together to make a larger piece of unique and extremely tactile fabric. It means not only that I don’t follow a pattern, I don’t necessarily follow the standard “rules” of crochet. I add stitches anywhere I see fit. I start blocks of fabric and then end ‘em and start anew. It is a form of painting with yarn and a hook instead of canvas and a brush. The yarns, hooks, stitch type and direction are constantly changing. It gives the scrumble its appealing variety. Sometimes a new yarn is joined in and the work carries on; other times, it’s necessary to break off the yarn and begin again with new yarn in another place on the scrumble. These are decisions made as I go along.

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Irish Leaf with center ridge (light fingering Wool/Nylon Red/Yellow): 1.5” x 3”
Hook 4mm (G)
Starflower (Aran Acrylic Ref/Purple): 2” x 2” and
1/2 flower (Aran Acrylic Red/Purple): 2.5” x 4”

Yarn:  Red hues in Merino, Bamboo, Linen, Silk, Blend, Acrylic, Alpaca, BFL, cotton thread, cobweb singles, lace, light fingering, DK, Worsted, Aran, Bulky, Super Bulky…use everything I have in my stash including handspun.

Swatch:  Gauge doesn’t really matter for this project, but, I got a general gauge that I liked on 1.25mm, 2.75mm, and 4.00 mm.

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Red Rose (Sport weight/Acrylic): 1.75” diameter

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Spiderweb Square (light fingering Wool/Nylon ): 4.5”

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Fan/Shell (Silk Haze lace weight): 2” x 4”
Circle (Silk Haze lace weight): 1.5”

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Celtic Leaf (Sport weight/Acrylic Red): 4.5” (tip to tip between two leaves)

Hook 4mm (G)
Large Leaf (Aran Acrylic, Red/Purple): 5” x 10”

Hook 1.25mm
Padded ring (Cotton thread, Red) 1/2” diameter and
Ruffled Flower/ring (Cotton thread, Red) 3/4” diameter

Team tie-in:  The red colorways of the scrumbles in my tunic can be linked to the playful swing dress Tracy Turnblad had on in You can’t Stop the Beat, in Hairspray.  Mine will also ‘keep spinnin ‘round and round’ as in the line You Can’t Stop the Beat.  ‘The motion of the ocean. Or the rain from above. You can try to stop the paradise…,’ but, you can’t stop my making of this New Frontier.

Writing up the mini-thesis proposal took me back to college days where I sweated for days as I went into its writing totally clueless…then the wait for grade was even harder; it made me nervous.

I did it.  It took me two days of researching and preparation.  I submitted the proposal last night and received approval to proceed with the study earlier today.  I’m thankful for the supportive teammates who encouraged and walked me through all the steps.  Let the game begins.

Are you on Nerd Wars?  If not, what are you doing to challenge yourself to be better than you were?

Hook 4mm (G)
Bullion Stitch Scroll (Worsted Merino, Hot Pink): 2.5” x 5”

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

ღ¸.•*””*•.¸¸ ”
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!)

Welcoming Happiness in the Home


The kolam, or rangoli is a traditional mandala, a geometric pattern, that women design in front of their houses during festivities.

Isn’t she awesome…just as women are?! What a voice she has found.

In Tamil Nadu, culture is a strong form of expression by the women, who express their feelings in this secret way.

During Diwali, the festival of lights, all Indian women make rangoli in front of their houses. If they live in small flats/apartments, then a small one in front of the main entrance door.

The white powder is made by crushing glass at factories, usually from cups and saucers collected from scrap. This plain rangoli powder is also mixed with different colors and used in the patterns.

Rangoli making competitions are held during different festivals.

It can be a square foot for homes to several square meters for Rangoli competitions.

Rang means Colors and Oli means lines/pattens.  Making a rangoli in front of the door represents welcoming happiness in the home.  It’s a everyday affair for women in Tamil Nadu.

What brings you happiness?

Preparing for Nerd Wars’ T10 Dissertation/New Frontier thesis proposal

More crochet class samples plus felting and embroidered embellishments

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

ღ¸.•*””*•.¸¸ ”
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!)

A Single Moment


In the end, I only regret the chances I didn’t take,

One of class samples for my crochet class started earlier in the week

the relationships I was afraid to have

and the decisions I waited too long to make.

Another sample for a crochet class

Don’t waste a single moment.

Class sample felted and awaiting needle embellishment

There’s something about participating. It’s almost my religion. If the world is still here in 100 years, people will know the importance of participating, not just being spectators.~~Pete Seeger.   RiP.

In honor of the Ravellenic games, Katy Swift is offering her patternscuff-down socks and shawl designs–for free through February 23, 2014.  At check-out, use coupon code playfulrav.

Another sample for a crochet class

When you make any of these patterns, I would love to see the finished pictures…please.

More crochet class samples plus felting and embroidered embellishments

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

ღ¸.•*””*•.¸¸ ”
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!)