Thursday, February 28, 2008

G.........oing around in circles

At least that 's what I was doing thinking of how to start the book, when it hit me (or at least rolled in to me): circles! As the patina of age glosses over the scrapes and sparkles of my early days, I become more aware of circles and the cyclical patterns in our lives. So my start in crafting has, perhaps, come full circle.

Mom was only trying to keep me occupied during the long, lazy summers we spent at the lake with my grandparents, but the project she introduced to me almost 60 years ago started me crafting, one of my greatest passions today.

What kept me busy for hours was rolling long triangles of shiny magazine paper into beads and stringing them to make colorful braclets and necklaces.

That memory was brought into sharp focus a few months ago when I ran across an article about "Beads for Life", an organization based in Uganda that sells beautiful "paper bead" jewelry made by women who are working to overcome the poverty that ravages their lives.

These photos are of some of the treasures I purchased from them and a couple of simple items I was able to make from their loose beads. What you cannot see is the nostalgia that washes over me! It's almost as if the circle begins again.
All or part of this entry may be added to the beginning of the book!

A.........nd the winner is

Shannon Reese from Alabama! Shannon has recaptioned my photo and won the prize. Please scroll down a little to see her entry. I want to thank all of you who entered here on this blog and to me privately. Was this the entry I preferred? I'm not telling!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I.........nvitation to the journey

You're invited to follow (and comment on) my journey to the photography/essay book that I've decided to write this year. As an old English teacher I'm mulling over an outline, but don't want it to get in the way of the writing process. My obsession now is how to combine my thoughts and feelings about the grander scheme of things from a craft perspective. After all, the working title is Confessions from a Crazed Crafter. Two sections for sure will be about crafting for friends and family. Another may detail the creative process. Stay tuned to peek at some or all of the legs of this journey!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

C.........aption contest

"She's my baby
and you can see
the similarities!"

Thanks to
for this new
I'll probably use
it in the new
book. For all you
curious ones,
this picture was
taken in front of
Bally's in Las
of one of the show-
girls who actually
lent me her boa and showed me how to stand! The second picture is of David with her.
As he is over 6' tall, you can see that they really use tall girls in the show, "Jubilee".

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

T..........hinking of writing a book

Today I'm thinking of writing a book through Flickr's "blurb". It will feature loads of photos with some of my many unusual comments. It might also be a promotional tool for my crafts. I'd like to call it "Confessions from a Crazed Crafter" Any opinions?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

C.........hristening Gown

It is always such an honor to know that a baby has been baptized in one of my Christening gowns or wrapped up for such an occasion in one of my blankets. So I just had to present my newest items. The gown is a design original and took more than 25 hours to make. Doing such projects also keeps my mind off of our terrible weather! Right now it's a sleet storm...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

R..........ed Hat Friends

A short while ago, I was asked to comment on who or what gives hope to my life. Certainly, my wonderful friends fall into this category! One special group is from Kohler, Sheboygan, and Plymouth. We began playing Mah Jongg two days a month several years ago and have also participated with great glee in the Red Hat Society movement.

Yesterday several of us journeyed to the Rahr West Art Museum in Manitowoc to see the "Art of Tablesettings", an annual show in which a couple of our members participate. They are shown here with their entry "Patricia's Summer Repast", inspired by working on this beautiful lattice wall hanging as well as Patrician glassware and a china pattern called "Patricia". A third member of our group created the flower arrangement. Such talented ladies!

Every leaf of the wall hanging was applied by hand before the quilting was done. How we long for summer during winter in Wisconsin! I'm not sure, but that might be a view of Lake Michigan in the background.

Of course, I volunteered to add a picture of myself for the occasion, but for some strange reason my request was denied....wonder why? :) After the art tour we had lunch and a rousing game of Mah Jongg accompanied by much laughter. With friends such as these, I certainly do not need a therapy group. My husband was once overheard telling a friend about what a good time we always have and then added, "And they don't even drink!"

Sunday, February 10, 2008

C.........rafting in a winer blast

Just had to think spring in 25 below zero wind chills here today. Here are the new and white long eared bunnies in one of my pine needle baskets on a soft white doily. I plan to make the bunnies in many colors with doilies to match.. The basket cannot be equaled. It is an original design, one-of-a-kind creation that took almost 35 hours to make, coiling long leaf pine needles and sewing intricate designs with natural raffia. The handle is the hardest part as wire is inserted in the center of the coils to give it stability. The bunnies are on my etsy shop and the basket will be soon.

Friday, February 8, 2008

W........inter in Wisconsin

Ahhhh.....Winter in Wisconsin! Two days ago more than 16" of white fell on Kohler and it took David seven times to clear the mess. He is over six feet tall, so the snow depth is obvious! It is starkly beautiful if you don't have to drive on it, as we discovered this morning when only through a great driving maneuver were we able to avaid a car that slid through a stopsign! Of course, that didn't stop us from joining friends for breakfast, and after a great deal of discussion and laughter on many topics, I was able to feel calm again. More snow is due tonight! Guess I should have cross stitched a polar bear instead of a panda on the new baby afghan! (shown on the right)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

M.........aybe I spoke too soon!

After being grateful for winter the other day, I'm changing my story today! We are in full blizzard mode, so I'm trying to cheer us all up with a summer picture of David's morning glories in the back yard last summer with some glads in front of them. But it's not working too well...still a complete whiteout here!

Monday, February 4, 2008

G........rateful for winter?

Of all things, today I am grateful for winter! I am comfortable, warm and together with David. Even though it snowed again, he drove me to and fro and did all the errands. I am one lucky person! The picture shows the beautiful vase he gave me last Christmas, and, in the background a photo taken at our wedding over a year ago. We used calla lillies in the wedding!

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Just returned from the Kohler Arts Center where we enjoyed a Mexican Fiesta! The Ballet Follorico dance troup was fantastic! Now I'm inspired to use the glorious, bright colors of Mexico in my crafts! It's hard to see against the black background, but the top and the base of this tote bag are black!

Friday, February 1, 2008 and friends

There's no better way than to start with the oldest and youngest members of our family. Here are my mom, Alice Evans, with her brand new great, great granddaughter, taken in April of '07. All those in between will be featured later!