It's a part of who I am...

Creating heirloom pieces at present - leaving my footprint behind, and perhaps a little something extra for my loved ones in the future

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Defender of the Faith...or the Thread

It happens every single time....
I sit, get out my cross-stitch...
Make sure my tea is within my reach....
and then...
and then...
Pursie must sit right on top of my thread...
What is it with cats?
They're insane....

Friday, October 29, 2010

Floral Clay Jewellery Bowl

I created this floral clay jewellery bowl for the side of my sink actually so I would have a spot to place my rings and such when I am preparing food, or washing the dishes/counters etc. I used "Crayola" clay for this product which I am very impressed by. Comes in plastic tub about the size of a margarine dish and has fresh workable clay in its natural bisque colour. You can add droplets of water to this clay to gently smooth out wrinkles, and best of's air dry. Of course, it takes much longer to dry this way; however, when it is dry, it's soft, smooth to a matte finish. Now I don't have to worry about my jewellery getting lost, or falling into the sink, it stays protected and safe in my floral clay bowl. :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall and Winter Unite!

October 25th was the day to mark on the calendar - the arrival of our first snowfall here in Edmonton Alberta. Once again, experiencing more than one season at a time sets my creativity a blazin' with post Halloween thoughts of pre-Christmas craftin'! Somebody stop me!!!!! Wait...don't do that...I wouldn't like it... wouldn't like to see me get angry...I might turn green.....

....The Hulk? No, no.....the Grinch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Pursie...blinking in disbelief at the early arrival of Jack Frost...I say that it is far better for her to be on the inside looking out, than the other way around! :))

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Origami "Venus" Tutorial by Lanie

See Here's The Venus! and 1000's of others - or share your own on Cut Out + Keep

We're Going "Victorian" This Year.

Thats right...Victorian Christmas will be our theme this year, as I am truly inspired by the colour palette of Plums, Lavender, Ivory, Gold and Silver. I've started to create some of the decorations this year (you have to start early you know) with these lovely mini wreaths that will eventually adorn my tree.

How To Create Your Very Own Mini Wreath.

You will need:
Fimo Clay in varying colours. I chose White, Lavender, Purple, Burgundy, and Gold

It's best to create this project on a wax lined cookie sheet right from the "get-go". You don't want to get all touchy-feely with it.

Using your white Fimo Clay first, create three long strings measuring ten inches long, and braid them loosely. Then form into a wreath shape. It's nice to have one of the strings skinnier than the rest, to give it an uneven yet natural look.

Then use your Lavender and Purple Fimo to create baby rosettes, which are just tiny little tubes loosely formed and gently press into the clay.

From there, use the Burgundy and Gold Fimo to create berries that surround the flowers.

Bake in the oven using the directions on the package. Do not overbake, and when the project is completed, let it cool on the cookie sheet. Hot Clay is extremely fragile, so resist the urge to pick it up. Once your wreath is completely cooled, apply a sealant to protect your wreath. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Matte Gold Victorian Clay Roses

Fimo Clay is a wonderful medium to work with. With its range of muted colors, to bright, to their sparkly "effects" clay,  there are many wonderful crafts to be created using this product.
To create a lovely matte gold color, mix equal parts of Gold Effects, and Silver Effects Fimo Clay. I'm using these flowers as decorative accents in my Victorian style living room.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Another Project Complete

A few weeks ago, I began a simple Felt project for the Autumn season. What I loved about this project was that I only needed to make a small autumn themed mandala at a time. This was a perfect project to work on in-between piano students. Twenty minutes here and there was all I needed to complete something of sentimental value as each mandala was created from a special memory during my favourite time of year - Fall!

Now..time to break out the apple cider....yum!

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Witches Tale

Tomorrow marks my first day of in-house decorating for Halloween...A tad early I know, and over the years I  have been criticized for my early starts - but oh well!!! I love it, and I do what I love...period.
The Witches hand is super easy to create because you are only creating the fingers of the hand, and not the hand itself. Using Fimo clay which is so easy to work with, you simply bake them in the oven to cure once the project is complete. Once they are cooled - simply spray with an acrylic sealer. Position clay fingers in the book just far enough so it appears that she is grabbing onto the book from the inside, trying to break free.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fall Felt Mandala's Batch 4

   The Night Sky Mandala with the "star-moon" theme and autumn leaves pays homage to my Mother, Barbara. On a crisp Fall evening, we would bundle up to go for evening walks in the small town where I grew up.
    In that same small town during this time of year - came the Fair. Small, quaint and charming would be words to describe its atmosphere. For me, it was all about the senses...the smells, the sounds, the sights.  Candy Apples and fresh Taffy were among my favourite foods during the course of an evening such as this.
   Now, in my 30's, I've become a bit lazy in terms of costume for Halloween. I love handing out the candy to impatient children -  wearing my Witches hat and black coat. I sit on my decorated porch, hot apple cider in hand, a warm smile, and ambient lighting emanating from old smoke laden jars illuminating the night sky...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fall Felt Mandala's Batch 3

     In honor of my friend Lumie, I made an owl mandala which represents the baby theme of her blog - A Hope Chest for Baby. Her Blog is filled with wishes, and dreams, and a bright future that is nourished by her own creativity.
    The "Darkening Sunset" mandala represents my home on Young Street of Tillsonburg Ontario, where to this day, my father still lives there after 37 years, and the backyard there still holds a sense a wonder. Beyond the small little fruit orchard  - lies the gully, where I swear the legend of Sleepy Hollow first originated! LoL...
    The two Celtic mandala's represent Don and I. I will lay claim to the bejewelled cross, - whilst he can be the pun intended...not at all! :))
Love you sweetheart!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Continuation of Autumnal Mandala's

The creation of these Primitive Seasonal Mandala's have been quite inspiring for me. Mostly because each one represents a memory for me. Even the Silhouette Mandala's were inspired by my Victorian style Living Room. The cost to make them is almost nothing.  A single sheet of Felt usually costs about $1 Cdn. Best of all, the Felt is being produced now in many more subtle shades. So check out your local craft store, or go online, and see what you find in terms of  new colours and textures this year in Felt.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

HeartFELT Seasonal Memories.

The first Mandala that I created was from an established pattern . It was the little bird wearing the witches hat. I made it because my husband calls me "Little Bird" without when I saw this, I simply followed the pattern...
But then I started to create autumnal mandala's that meant something to ME. Each holds a special memory or tradition of some sort. The next one that I will make will be my son's black Kinjitsu uniform with special Fall inspired features to embellish further on it. These are my first five mandala's....many more to come; however, it is my first autumnal project this year - on this chilly day in Edmonton Alberta.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Origami Lotus Blossom Tutorial by Lanie

See Lotus Blossom Tutorial and 1000's of others - or share your own on Cut Out + Keep

Finding A Balance.

It's a weakness of mine...learning to balance my time between creating, posting on SEVERAL websites, working, and relaxing. That's just it...I don't think I relax in the traditional sense of  the word anymore. My hands are always on the move; however, at times I find myself  really sacked - as if I cannot shut off my ever flowing creative mind, and as a result...feeling drained  - exhausted even as my feet hit the floor in the morning....this must change.
Funny thing is, my husband Don is EXACTLY the same....we create...we obsess...we talk excitedly about our newest projects...each of us cutting the other one off in mid-sentence to add something of import to the conversation. Life to us IS important as food and water is to our survival; however, we must find that balance...introduce a little "down-time" in our lives...shut down to replenish our creative mind and spirit.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Here's An Interesting Little Tim - Bit!

I love Tim Hortons Coffee...don't we all? A large double-double to me ACTUALLY has the ability to save lives when encountering people on a day to day basis...
But can you imagine ordering a MILES instead of a TIMMIES?  That's right! Tim Horton's name at birth was Miles Gilbert  - named after his Grandfather. His mother always liked the name "Tim", and that's what she called the next time you want to grab a "Timmies" to start your day off right, just could have me a "Milesy" hmmmmm....(I ponder this as I cross-stitch! After all, this is a crafty blog ya know. ;)  )

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Igniting Imagination!

I'm a piano teacher, along with my husband Don
which makes for a pretty busy and often LOUD household throughout the day. While Don's studio takes on a more sophisticated look with the beautiful Heintzman Piano and soft tones of chocolate browns and beiges, my room appeals to the younger crowd - my main target audience! However, I wanted to instill MORE than just a love of music (while they pound on the keys in gleeful joy..) I wanted to ignite their imagination in many art mediums and  found that a passion of music and art blends very well together. EVERY week like clockwork I add something new to the room, and the children enjoy looking for's a great way to connect with my students while adding the love of music and art in its many wonderful forms together in one harmonious room.'s back to our lesson!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Check Your Drawers!

Oops! Not those ones! :)

Every new project that I create, whether it be cross-stitch, jewellery design, or paper folding, I enhance them further with simple embellishments. Personalizing embroidered gifts by stitching their name or initials into the fabric really adds something special to the piece, and makes the receiver of that gift feel a little more special too. :)
Vintage lace, buttons, bits of unused jewellery can be re-purposed for future projects. Bookmarks like the one I have just finished can be spruced up with's (sew) easy to attach too as the aida cloth allows for even stitches! I also created a very small Swarovski wreath (about the size of a large button) at the bottom of the bookmark. I made this one from topaz coloured Swarovski crystals and cream coloured seed beeds.  So don't delay! Check your drawers today!...And tell me what you find. :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Primitive Way To Tell A Story

Attending the small Medieval Festival this year in Edmonton Alberta reminded me of just how primitive life was back then. In fact, stories, and legends of battle, religion were told, and retold through different art mediums. Religious accolades were revealed through Stained that could tell a story as many could not read or write. Other forms of course....tapestry....history woven into the fabric of our lives as it were. Individual families using embroidery to create a homage to their family...lovingly stitched with the same hands that cooked, cleaned, worked the land and bathed their children....remarkable really...and wonderful.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's Fall To Me.

Even though it's August, my mind is already in that "Fall Routine" Mode. What does "Fall Routine" mean to me? It means cooler nights, shorter days, back to school for my music students, better focus for me all the way around because there is simply better structure or routine in my life during this time of year. I've always felt like I was "floating" around during the summer...which I detest...but now I am coming alive again creatively and spriritually as well...I think there is something about the changing colors of the trees, and the cool fresh air on my face that wakes me up, and revvs my engine!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Making Life Easier

I'd thought I would share this little tidbit of information regarding my embroidery work. By placing a large silk pillow on my lap while I'm embroidering keeps my work clean, and helps relieve the weight of the project by having to rest it higher - closer to wear my hands are at. It also minimizes hand fatigue, and even serves as a large pin cushion when needed. The smoothness of the silk prevents my threads from fuzzing up, and best of all, I find that my posture is better as I am not leaning over my work.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Completed "Eleanor"

Finally, she is done, and she is beautiful with soft muted tones, and an elegance all her own. No wonder that it comes from a series of Elegant Ladies created by John Clayton. There are quite a few of these ladies just ready to be stitched, and they all have that "something special" about them. Great care has been taken to the subtleties of skin tone, hair coloring, and dress. I plan on making quite a few of these in the years to come.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Victory Dance

I always do a little "victory dance" after completing an embroidered project because it can be so darn time consuming which I guess is part of the reason why I like it. You have to be dedicated and spend many hours creating something that will hopefully stand the test of time to be passed down from generation to generation... peacock is done...kudos goes of course to Dimensions Gold for creating a fantastic today, my present to myself was to buy the frame, and now it hangs proudly in my home.....

so....on to the next!

I love the colours in this one....very  "happy" little picture. :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Well....I have been posting....

It's funny...I just posted new pics on my blogger here last night; however because they are on one of my extra "pages", it apparently doesn't count as a I will show you what I have been up to. I have been working on a few 3D origami projects lately. I love this particular craft because you can make so many lovely things...all with tiny pieces of paper....just take a look...:) and happy Easter everyone...

This type of modular origami takes ALOT of time. The swan took 16 hours to complete..The  Easter egg took considerably less time. My next 3D origami project will be this huge Peacock. Can't wait  to share it with all of you here.  But for right now, I'm going to go downstairs, make some tea, and cross-stitch.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Calico Craze....

She's just the Purrsie! Lots of love and
affection, and now I'm excited to find a calico cross
stitch pattern that reminds me of her.
I love Cross-stitch....I love my Calico, and so I must combine the two to maximize the cutesness factor in my now I'm on the hunt to find an awesome calico pattern that is a zany as she is....Here's a few pics of the furry beast. :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stitchery Loves Company

....And what kind of company does stitchery love? Why TEA of course! Loose leaf tea is another passion of mine...I love the whole ritual of making it, and then, after adding a bit of honey to my favourite darjeeling tea, I sit down in my comfy chair and stitch after a long hard day's work.

This is my favourite cup too!

Love Tea!
Love it!
Love it....................Yum!

Monday, March 22, 2010

It Doesn't Have to be Big to Count.

Even the smallest embroidery project can mean a lot to someone because it is made especially with THEM in mind. Anyone can spend a few minutes at home decor shop, and find something that would suit the tastes of the person receiving the gift; however, investing a little time, and effort and love into an embroidered gift will mean so much more -  especially because they put a little of themselves into it.
This bookmark is being made at present using "Linen" floss. I love this thread because its matte, rustic look appeals to me. There are "slubs" in the thread which add to the character of the floss.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Fellowship...

As I grow older, I find it harder to find true friends who share my interests. Of course, it was much easier when I was in school; but at that age,  we were still discovering who exactly we were. It's only now, in my thirties, that I find myself deeply rooted, and wanting a kinship with like minded people. That's the main reason for this blog really...
A couple of years ago, I found such a friend on "myspace"...Luminea Meredith - a kind gentle soul who was my age, creating all manner of things handmade. She derives satisfaction from her creations as I do, and is always looking for that next project. She fills her home with such creations, and inspires others to do the same.

She makes Spa baskets, filled with her loving care - embroidered pillows, embroidered robes, breakfasts trays with embroidered coasters, and candles adorned with ribbon. Indeed she puts her heart and soul into her creations, which makes them not only "custom", but priceless to the people who receive them.

Embroidered Pillows, and cross-stitch hangings adorn her walls. She keeps her house feeling fresh by switching out her home decor as the seasons change with her delightful and meaningful creations.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Catching the Easter Bunny!

Soon, Easter will be upon a child, visions of this huge brown floppy-eared bunny rabbit hiding chocolate eggs around the house drove me to heights of pure jubilation. My brother and I would race around the house, each with a bowl in hand trying to find the most chocolate. We were a blur...we were a whirling dervish! We were like the Tasmanian Devil we watched on T.V every Saturday morning!
And then...
My Dad would call to me "I see the easter bunny! Hurry Hurry!" I would race to the window, looking feverishly down the street...only to here my father say..."Ohhhhhh,,,,you just missed him...."
Love you Dad.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

In the Series of Ladies...

Here's the second lady that I am working on which is part of the same series. She's almost done, and I will post the final picture upon completion. Again, great detail to her costume, skin tones, and all round shading.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

One of a Series's one I actually finished! :) It's one of a series of ladies adorning period clothing. So far I have three of these patterns, and am looking to purchase the whole series down the road someday to create a collage. I love these patterns because the shading and tonal values in the final product is simply soft and stunning...quite an elegant series actually.

Poppies in Bloom.

A few years ago, I would always find my neighbour Nora working on her garden at the side of her house. I know this because my kitchen bay window from the old house used to face her wee garden. Every morning like clockwork she was out there plucking out the odd weed - maintaining her small patch of earth that was hers alone.
I remember her Poppies the most. Those orange-red beauties that looked as if they leapt out of an old oil beautiful.
Years later, I found this pattern in a cross-stitch magazine, and decided that I must stitch it. Now, true to form, it's not yet complete....seems to be a common theme here....hmmm....but so far so good!

Monday, March 15, 2010

An Old Love

This is a VERY large cross stitch by Gold Dimensions. I believe it's about 12x16, and it's STILL not done. I have about 20 per cent left to go at the bottom. When I am finished, I will photograph the complete piece. I have been working on this off and on for about 8 years....that's right...8 years. After a while, I feel the need to switch it out, and work on something new and fresh; however, now being so close to completion - I look forward to finishing and framing this heirloom quality piece.

Pretty Peacock.

This is a work in progress... nice little 5x7 crosstitch developed by Gold Dimensions. I'm about 60 per cent finished this piece; however my favourite part of this project will be in the final details. I'm even going to add some iridescent seed beads as a finishing touch.

Camille Monet....Embroidering