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

Archive for the ‘YouTube’ Category

Chew On That, Monsanto!

How cool is this? I naturally like this.🐝 Three 15-year-old Mighty Girls from Cork, Ireland, have discovered a way to use bacteria to dramatically increase the yield of several basic food crops–a discovery which could have a major impact in addressing food scarcity while making agriculture more eco-friendly by reducing the need for fertilizer. Congratulations to these young scientists!

Using homemade equipment, they carried out germination and growth experiments over 11 months. They analyzed the performance of more than 9,500 seed samples, recording over 120,000 manual measurements in 125 experimental sets. Based on their extensive experimental results, the girls succeeded in showing statistically that two strains of Rhizobium bacteria can significantly accelerate the rate of crop germination.  These results have significant potential for increasing yields of food crops and reducing losses due to adverse weather conditions. They also offer opportunities for reducing the environmental footprint of agriculture by reducing fertilizer usage. Brilliant Irish girls, aren’t they? I just hope someone in the real world picks this up and actually applies what these amazing 15-year-old girls have discovered. Lets see some actual field trials to verify their findings in an uncontrolled environment.

We are reaching the beginning of autumn, the temperature is fluctuating a lot the past few days. So, be careful not to catch a cold like I did! Nonetheless, this is the best time of the year–to be wrapped around lace shawls like an overflowing scarf. Easy as Pie says right in its name how simple it is. It looks nice and beach-y in different gauges and fiber contents. A super satisfying knit with lovely zig-zag border.

I’m spinning some fine lace weight to do another one with beads and can’t wait to get it underway. So excited. Hand-dyed Romney locks from Iron Water Ranch is to die for. Be sure to check out the family-run booth at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival next weekend if you plan to be in Canby, Oregon. You won’t be disappointed.

Sweater weather is finally here. Though the trend (article here) for Fall sweaters is BIG, I much prefer a lightweight sweater with clean, architectural lines, and a simple drape. Fileuse is just the right piece to take me through those crazy transitional days of autumn. Besides, as a spinner, who wouldn’t geek over these adorable, little Saxonies?!

Musing here becomes the cyber equivalent of a sticky note! You know–when my sieve-of-a-brain can’t recall what project I wanted to start next? These soft-and-silky Baby Girl Mary Janes booties are as cute as the classic pairs I grew up in. Knit in the softest cashmere blend, they would make a perfect foot covering for a baby. I’m making a bunch for charities. (Look for the pink download arrow and click on it. Pattern download instructions are here. Make sure you do not have a pop-up blocker on.)

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(Kicking off Octoberfest for the fun weekend, right here, right now.  Come join us.)

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!)


Power of the Heart

What is the heart? Is it more than just a pump for blood? Or could the truth about its power be related to the essence of my entire being and have a field of energy so great that it can transform not just my own being into that of light, love and happiness, but even those around me?

Look at my heart and I will find something amazing. Discover and recover that the world is not limited, but unlimited. Trust it and I will discover the truth about who I am, where did I come from. Amaze myself.

This is my heart’s intuitive message related to Eckhart Tolle: The Power of the Heart–a movie/book about the astonishing power and intelligence of the heart. It features Maya Angelou, Paulo Coelho, Isabel Allende, Deepak Chopra, Mark Nepo, and Eckhart Tolle. I am so exciting about the powerful book/movie and am looking forward to its release in October. Discover the first teaser:

See animation-video from the Institute of HeartMath on the page here. The video points in the similar direction, but, based on actual scientific research. They supposedly work with the U.S. military to facilitate personnel conflict resolution.

Today’s handpicked free pattern is an easy knit: Linen Poncholette. A perfect item to throw on as fall approaches.

Saffron Sweet Shawl is perfect for cooler summer days and warmer fall nights and everywhere in between. It is open and airy yet not too lightweight that it doesn’t provide some warmth. Isn’t the shade of amber the perfect early fall color? Thank you, Cre8tion Crochet, for the FREE pattern.

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. (This charming duel will be a part of my next quilt challenge–Gees Bend Quilters inspired.)

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!)

Never Forget

Losing myself, my identity, the things I cherish most about myself, living totally for someone else means I disappear. Excruciating. Right?

People always think the most painful thing in life is losing the one they value. The truth is, the most painful thing is losing myself in the process of valuing someone too much and forgetting that I am special too.

Creativity, genius, artistry and depression often travel in the same soul. I’m sorry Robin was unable to survive his illness. It’s a crappy way to live. If you or someone you know or love needs help, reach out. Sometimes a kind word, photo, or touch gives that person the little push to try again. I’m learning to change. I’m unique and special too. Never forget how special you are. Robin Williams was special. He made so many people happy. A timely gift of laughter and tears. I’ll be “keening” for a while. I’ll always enjoy the genius of Robin. His death was as tragic as if he died of a heart attack or cancer and does not deserve to mark his career badly.

Have you been wondering what endless inspiration awaits on this glorious Tuesday morning, my crafty friends? New and Free: Lucidity. That actually sounds like a catchy slogan, doesn’t it? The magnificently sprawling square lace shawl by Beata Jezek took my breath away. Enjoy the free knitting pattern as I do.

i’m feeling this weird obsessive thing come over me–must do this golden pair of knotty socks. Julia Kupferfeder is offering her newly published Drachenkrallen knitted cables pattern–in English and German–FREE.

Afghans come in many shapes, sizes and styles. Margaret Afghan Square crochet pattern is FREE ’til August 31, 2014. Use coupon code MARGARET at check-out.

Check out my Facebook page here for a fun cardigan pattern I’ll be sharing latter today. It’ll be another free download, of course (like this Mirasol Stripes Shawlette.)

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!)

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

I’m Never Lost

I’m merely finding my way.

It’s easy to just get wrapped up and never move past.  When I thought she would back away, she walked forward.  Growing through her struggles, confusion, uncertainty, and the moments of bliss as she experiences the natural occurrences that I experienced as I began my journey in adulthood.

Not that she doesn’t get nervous when competing, it’s just that the nerves don’t show.  Here is the instant replay of the teen’s competition piece performed yesterday at 2014 Central Oregon District Solo & Ensemble.  It didn’t matter that how tired she was or who’s in the judging room, she just played her heart out.  (It’s a long piece…so grab a cup of coffee or your favorite drink, sit comfortably, and enjoy.)

Everyone there heard her expressive tone and musical phrasing.  So did the adjudicator.

As defending champion, the teen is advancing to compete at state level in May at Lewis & Clark University.  The improvement in rhythm, technique, and articulation has given her a great set of new tools in her musical arsenal.  Her mentor Lynn Lakin feels she is on the verge of going up another entire level.

I am a proud mother who couldn’t help but share the admiration for my daughter.

beautiful friendship since childhood

With good intention…quilting just wasn’t an option as my vision is still bothering me today.

No worry. Tomorrow will be a better day. I just feel it.

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!)