Moving Day

This is my dominant ram, Randy Andy and he is now in his glory.... he has his girls.... He's strutting around all day with this stupid expression on his face. The ram responds to the a ewe in heat by sniffing and curling his lip. There's actually a name for this lip curling, the "flehmen response."

Sunday was moving day and it took me most of the afternoon. Sheep hate to be separated but Diamond Jim had to have Andy's daughters in one pasture, Randy Andy had to have the older ewes and Diamond Jim's sisters in another pasture, and the babies had to separated from everyone. It was like one of the games where you have to get all the marbles across the board from one side to the other only by jumping... And I was doing the jumping.....

All the while the rams are trying to get all the ewes pregnant in 15 minutes.... The ewes are wailing and running from the rams, the rams are snorting, sniffing, and drooling, and the babies are crying for their mothers.... When finally done I needed a LARGE gin and tonic......

Antique pincushions

It was these tall pincushions in an advertisement in Victoria magazine years ago that inspired me to design my tall beauties. I was always losing my pincushions in the clutter of my work but once I made a pincushion that "rose above it all" I was a happy seamstress. You can see more at http://www.victorianpincushions.com/ Unfortunately I have about 50 in various stages of completion and have yet to seriously find a new shopping cart host. I love making them as it is like crazy quilting as I get to use my vast stash of bits and pieces. Maybe next month and when the snow flies....


Recipe for Christmas

I had the kindest, sweetest, most loving mother-in-law in the world. I adored her and so did everyone who knew her.. She would have been 100 years old if she had lived. Her specialty was Sour Cream Rolls. I did this watercolor of her to pass on her recipe to her many grandchildren. Then there were requests from nieces, nephews. and now great grandchildren. This was done before scrapbooking and computers but would be a great way to pass a favorite recipe in your family.

On the right are general statistics of her life plus the important fact that she never ate a dark piece of chicken in her life. On the left is the following anecdote that truly portrays her gentle soul:

While taking communion one Sunday, Mary found the host dry and impossible to swallow. She wrapped it in a tissue, took it home and agonized what to do with the holy bread. Finally she put it in a tree for the birds. A shocked friend scolded her for being sacrilegious. This weighed heavily on Mary so she went to confess her sin. To her relief the priest's response was "Mary, you did good!"

My own sour cream rolls never quite measured up in my husband's eyes, but now that Mary is gone, my sour cream rolls are looking better every year.....


Fancy Victorian Pincushion

Voila!!! From a pile of bits and pieces emerges Cathy's pincushion..... I'll put my picture in the locket so you remember it's creator!!!! The fabric of the cushion itself is vintage and the ribbons and beads were purchased in Denver on the wonderful retreat...

My inspiration for tall pincushions came from a picture of tall antique pincushion pictured in Victoria magazine before it went out of business. (It's now being published again.) I was always looking for my cushions buried in the sewing clutter. The tall beauties rise above it all.....


Crazy Quilt Doll

This doll is inspired and made for my precious daughter-in-law, Vivian, who loves all things Victorian.
What would be more appropriate for the overskirt than crazy-quilt fancy work. I made the doll's head
from paper clay and the rest of her body is cloth. I used a lot of vintage linen scraps.

Cathy's pincushion

The gals at the CQ retreat were entirely too kind and polite. One evening we had a Chinese auction (this game has lots of names) where one person picks a gift and opens it and the next person has the choice of taking a gift from the pile or stealing someone's. We went thru the whole pile and NO ONE stole a gift which what makes the game fun. Since I was last I couldn't just let it go so I stole Debbie's gift, who in turn stole Lauri's gift. Laurie then turned her eye on Cathy's pincushion which she was clutching to her bosom like it was her first-born child. It was with the greatest reluctance she let it go..... and made Laurie walk over and pry it from her.....

Now that I'm home I've gathered these materials to make Cathy another pincushion for being such a good sport.... On the next retreat we will need to have an evil person or two to make this event work like it should.....


Fan Button Gone Awry

This is a button gone awry created for Cathy's fan block. Once I had sent it on to a certain person who shall remained nameless (but whose name begins with L and lives in CO) she saw the fan as an ostrich on the button. Try as I might I cannot see an ostrich but I didn't paint anymore fan buttons....ROFLOL.... Enough buttons already!!!!

Birds painted on buttons

I'm looking forward the button classes at the retreat. Roses are easy and won't take much time so maybe we can do some mini sessions on some other things like birds and cottages. I did the above buttons for the Encrusted RR and made one for each block I added the photos of the buttons beaded and on the blocks... Roses are done with a formula and once you master it, you can't mess up. But other things like birds require some drawing skills and I'll have to see if I can create a formula for at least one bird.


painting cottage buttons

My favorite buttons to paint are cottage buttons.. These are larger buttons...about 1 1/4". You'll notice I have them glued to pieces of felt and this is for two reasons...one is that if I bead around the button the felt is something to attach the beading to and then I can trim it away. Second....The MOP buttons are a slick surface and if oils from your fingers get on the button the paint will not adhere properly. You will notice that there are no holes. After I attach the felt I fill the holes, sand the button lightly and then put on a thin glaze.

Doing cottages is not a slap-dash project like roses. I usually do several at a time because there will be many layers of paint and each layer needs to dry thoroughly. These are not hard...just time consuming. The cottage on the upper lever is a VERY simple and would be a good one for beginners.


Rose buttons

Rose buttons are the easiest to do because you do EVERY one the same. Once you learn the formula the only thing you change is the color and number of roses... The formula is a blob, two boobs,a donut and some inverted eyebrows...... Stare at the rose on the red button until you see the "donut". Right behind the donut are two boobs and in front of the donut are some inverted eyebrows. Same thing for every rose....

I tried to do a tutorial but found it took me hours to write what I can teach in person in ten minutes. Because they are mounted on felt it is easy to bead around them..... The tutorial is http://www.victorianpincushions.com/button_tut.html

I plan to use the group at the retreat to help with new photos and rewrite of tutorial. If all else fails maybe this winter when I'm snowed in I will try to redo it.


I really enjoy playing with a variation of a theme on a block. I created a theme for this block when Kerry mentioned she loved dragonflies. Even though I was only allotted 1/4 of the block I managed to get in nine dragonflies. (I may have exceeded my allotted space a tiny bit). This was a "Beaded Round Robin." These were my favorites.

The top center was a dragonfly I painted on a MOP button and gave it a gold beaded fringe. The dragonflies at the left were actually woven into fabric. I tinted the fabric and couched them with gold thread. By positoning them above grass and cattails (only partially visible) I was able to use lots of different bead seams treatments for the grass. Great fun.
The dragonfly wings on the right were drawn on heavy taffeda, dyed, edged with glue and cut out. The inspiration for the circle motif came from a Japanese guild motif. Finally the bottom center was an old brooch with part of a rhinestone bracelet added.
You can see them all positioned on the block at http://www.flickr.com/photos/10245735@N07/2830943236/
It went on to Simona in Italy after me.
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