Saturday, October 22, 2016

Polish Pottery

We were over in the Denver area this week so I talked my hubby into stopping at the Polish Pottery Outlet in Englewood.  He took this picture and added this meme of his thoughts when he first saw the store.

Oh my goodness - it was a feast for the eyes.  I absolutely love this stuff!  One of the women who works there said, "Every time I open my kitchen cupboard I feel happy."  My thoughts exactly :)

Each piece is an individual work of art, hand painted by an artist in Poland.  They are dishwasher safe, microwave safe, freezer safe etc.  My mission was to add to the collection that we started for my birthday.  This is early Christmas!

We were there awhile.... SO many beautiful works of art to see!!

This little pumpkin came home with us.

Look at these gorgeous place settings!

Below is a quote from this weeks' Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast, Music and the Spoken Word.  You can hear the whole piece tomorrow on their broadcast.  It's called Art Matters.

Art Matters
"Art can be powerful and stirring, and it can be quiet and simple. It can move us and calm us. It can inspire and console us. Art helps us to ponder life’s great questions and appreciate its lighter side. It can lift us when we’re feeling down and open our eyes and hearts to the needs of those who suffer. Indeed, the arts illuminate the human condition, fostering more empathetic people and more compassionate communities.

This is what art can do for individuals, families, and entire communities. It can help us better understand each other, ourselves, and our place in the universe. The arts both explore and express what it means to be human and to feel the wonder and beauty of life." Music and the Spoken Word
And if all of that didn't make you smile, then this certainly will!  Have a great day!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Four Ways to Choose Happiness

Here is a quote for today which I find inspiring:

Four Ways to Choose Happiness 
1. Be grateful 
2. Praise the good in others
3. Reach out and be a friend
4. Avoid discouragement 

Larry R. Lawrence
March 8, 2016

And... Patricia commented on my wool post and asked how I secure the appliqué pieces to the background before stitching. I use a fusible web product: either Steam a Seam 2 or Heat N Bond Lite. Both have worked well for me. I use a steam iron and follow the manufacturer's instructions (except I do not usually use a pressing cloth, I find it works better for me to just press directly on the wool.) I hope that helps! Happy stitching!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wool Appliqué

Every once in awhile I see pictures of "the view from my quilt studio" on other quilter's blogs or newsletters.  Well, my quilt studio window overlooks our driveway, but certain times of the year I must say my view can be pretty spectacular :)

I've been working on a wool appliqué piece (yes, I'm finally doing some wool appliqué again!) for a gift.  What is fun for me with wool appliqué is that one can get really creative with stitches and embellishments.  Sue Spargo is an excellent example and if you need ideas, her books are fantastic!

This flower has yellow rick rack around the center, stitched down with red thread.  the purple flowers below have tiny purple flower buttons in the centers.

You can get creative with embroidery stitches too.  I keep an embroidery stitch book handy so I can look up stitches as I am working.  One of my favorites is:  The Right-handed Embroider's Companion by Yvette Stanton. (There is a left-handed version available, and if I remember correctly I ordered mine from Amazon.)

Have a wonderful day!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Calling All Peanut Butter Lovers

Have you ever said, "I wish someone would invent...." because you have a great idea and want "someone" to make it? Well, my son-in-law had a great idea and instead of just wishing, he made it happen!  It's the perfect peanut butter knife for all of us peanut butter lovers and he has a Kickstarter campaign going right now that you can check out at:
You can also watch a video of the great features of this new knife and if you feel so inspired you can join the Kickstarter campaign and own your very own!  Go check out the PBjife - it could change your life!  Have a great day :)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Crazy Fun Football

It's football season for all of you football fans!  Friday night my hubby and I went, with some friends, to a BYU football game (our alma mater).  We stayed at a hotel across the street from the stadium so we had a parking place (always an issue) and could just walk over.  Somehow we ended up in the BYU super fan room! Not only did we sleep in a BYU bed, but the whole room was decorated with BYU paraphernalia.  It was kind of fun - got us excited for the game :)

We only got to sleep in that bed for about 5 hours though because the game went into double overtime, so it was a late one!

We got a little band concert before the game as we were waiting for our friends. (They were probably trying to find a place to park...)

The game was so close which made it all the more exciting. Then, when BYU won in the second overtime, the fans were so excited they rushed the field.  We just watched the fun as I think we're too old to go leaping over the sides to get on the field.  It sure made for a fun, exciting game though!  Go Cougars!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Ami's Amazing Puzzle Ball

I decided to make Ami's Amazing Puzzle balls for the birthday girl.  This pattern is by Ami Simms and can be found here:

I have to say this pattern is one of the very best I've followed.  The directions were very clear, with pictures and precise instructions.  Once again, I'm stepping out of my box here and making a three dimensional, non-quilt item!  I was so pleased with the pattern and instructions I think I need to email Ami and tell her what a great job she did :)

This is the first one I made and it is size large.  There are four sizes: small, medium, large and extra-large.  I made two smalls, two larges and three medium sized balls.  I gave the birthday girl one of each size, including this one with the cupcakes on it, kept three for our "toy box" and gave another one to a friend's baby.

They really weren't too difficult to make, just a little time consuming.  The smaller size wasn't any harder to make than the larger sizes either.  I did not make an extra-large ball.  I felt like the large one was big enough for her little hands.  Each ball has 12 triangle parts that you sew by machine, then they are stuffed and sewn shut by hand and put together by hand using embroidery floss.

The day after the party, my husband and I were in a bookstore in Salt Lake and we saw, in the children's section, a ball that looked very much like these!  It did not come apart like a puzzle, however it did have some noise making things inside, such as a bell, some crinkly sounding stuff etc.  so when the baby grabs a triangle it makes a different sound.  Something to keep in mind for the next time I make some!  I think she would really like them to make some noise :)  The one at the bookstore cost $25!  It does not cost that much to make them.

The ball on the left in this picture is all taken apart.  They are pretty easy to take apart and put back together! The older kids and adults were having a good time playing with them too :)

I found out that my daughter made the thumbless mittens (above), which you can see baby can put on all by herself :)

And my daughter was smart and put bells in the blocks she made so the birthday girl loves to shake them and make some noise!

Fun party, great homemade items and adorable little girl :)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Computer Issues

I've missed a few days posting because I couldn't get the blogger app to work on my iPad for some reason.  Oh well, I'll stick with the computer for now!  It's been a busy few days anyway!  More on that, but for today I thought I would share pictures of the playhouse I finally finished last week.

I'm happy with the way it turned out!  I have different colored buttons on the two windows because I had to buy two full packs just to get two of the same color.  I would have had to buy four full packs to get four of the same color.  Both of these colors look good with the roof fabric so I decided each side could be a little different :)

It has a door that is rolled up and tied above the door frame.  It is the orange fabric and as you can see it has the turquoise lining.

This house was quite fun to make and not nearly as difficult as I thought it was going to be.  I'm getting out of my box a little bit, making a few non-quilty items!

I had to order the big buttons on the orange tabs online, so here are a couple more photos after I got those sewn on.

It's all ready for a special little person to come play in at Grandma's house!!