It was a Beautiful Frosty Morning

These photos were taken yesterday morning.  It was 3 degrees out and I just stepped out the kitchen door to grab a few shots when these great big snowflakes started falling.  It was beautiful!  Banjo, who is young and curious, came out to check out the shutter click but didn't stay long.  He was back in the barn before I could get a second shot of him - smart horse!  Shamrock, our old horse, didn't even stick his nose out - an even smarter horse!  It is definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . .

Time to get out the decorations . . ho..ho..ho!

Don't you just love Christmas?  This is one my favorite decorations.  He usually gets a pretty good spot in the Christmas line up (overshadowed only by the Nativity scene). 

In the Company of Friends

A week ago these lovely ladies and I went to a quilt retreat house aptly named "Inn the Company of Friends" in what we fondly call Butte, America.  We sewed our little hearts out, ate great food, drank incredibly good margaritas and laughed until our sides hurt!  Sleeping was totally optional.  It snowed while we were there which made a lovely backdrop.  We all made handbags again.  This time we made my Bloomin' Bag pattern.  They were all really cute and each one unique!

With Thanksgiving around the corner I am feeling very thankful this year for a lot of things but I will begin with these ladies.  They are creative, fun, supportive, entertaining, awesome women and I am very grateful to have them in my life.

First Snow

This is the view I woke up to this morning. . . aren't they handsome guys!  They seemed to be enjoying the first snow.  The pretty little mare next door was in her shelter with her blankie on watching these bad boys show her just how cool they are.  

My Little Studio is Growing Up

Guess what?  My little studio is in Studios Magazine Winter 2010.  

I'm so excited!  My little studio in a magazine!  And look at that - they put a picture of my mom in there. . . oh my gosh,  that's me!  It's a fun magazine with a lot of storage/organization ideas and inspiration.  Also in the same issue is Bonnie Lyn McCaffrey.  She is one of my fabric painting mentors.  Check out her studio, it's lovely! 

Halloween Comes in Pink!

Finally found Halloween fabric I like!  The fabric line is Alexander Henry Ghastly Manor and the apron pattern is Kwik Sew 3787.  The pattern is super easy and fun to make.  I've made several of them for gifts but I think this one is my favorite.

Maybe Next Week Will Feel Like Fall

Mama Nature has a favorite and it's Montana right now.  We're enjoying a wonderful little stretch of summer.  We've had beautiful weather, my flowers are still blooming and my hubby still has to mow the lawn (maybe he's not enjoying it as much as I am).  Next week I'll try to accept that it's fall but I just had to post a few more photos of my daisies.

Just for the love of pink

I know this comes as a shock but I really love pink - soft, pale pink!  It lifts my mood and feels like a little sparkle inside.  Okay, so that probably doesn't make sense but does everything really have to make sense?

Just A Little Pattern Promo :)

Remember my J. Shea Bag pattern?  Well, it's been a while since I made a new sample so I thought you might like to see it.  I put one of my crocheted flowers on this one instead of a button, although a button would be cute as well.  This bag holds a lot of "stuff" and teenagers have been using them for school bags.  This fabric is cotton but heavier weight deco fabric would work just as well and there are so many great ones out there.  It has an easy-to-sew zipper pocket inside and magnetic snap closure.  Oh, and by the way, Molly Mannequin's hat came from a cute little shop in St. George, UT.  It was supposed to be for my little Jessica but she's only into "cowboy" hats right now so Molly gets to wear it until Jessie changes her mind!

What do you think - 3D?

The big movie makers may not be calling to learn my technique but it is a fun way to store and display my favorite embellishments.

No Intervention Needed!

Okay, so what do you do when you've had a rough week - rearrange furniture right?  Of course!!  My studio was set up absolutely perfect - I didn't have to move more than 45 degrees in any direction to reach anything I needed.  Perfect right?  Well, certain parts of my body were spreading and other parts were going to sleep so I knew a change was in order.  Now I have several work stations which forces me to get out of my comfortable chair and go to the other side of the room.  This is not exactly aerobic activity but it does keep those "parts" from going to sleep!
I do love to change things up a bit now and then.  My family thinks it's a sickness and have threatened intervention but I need a little change every few months to keep things flowing. 
The cute little lamp on my desk was blue last week.  My little Jessica and I gave it a new look with a fresh coat of paint, a little lace, some black velvet ric-rac and sparkly pink beads.  Us girly-girls are lovin' it!

Saying It Out Loud

Today is my birthday and it has been a lovely day.  I got a clean bill of health from my doctor, my babies and grandbabies called to wish me a happy birthday, my husband is taking me out to dinner - the day just couldn't be any nicer - but my heart is heavy today and has been on this day every year for the past 23 years.  You see, I lost my son Jason 23 years ago in a tragic car accident and today is the anniversary of the last day I talked to him.  I had to go to work the next day and I stopped at his bedroom door as I was leaving and just looked at him.  I had an overwhelming urge to give him a big hug but didn't do it because I didn't want to wake him.  He went to stay with his dad later that day and I didn't see him again.  Two days later he was gone.  Every day, but especially on this day, I wish I had that hug.  I have never told this to anyone or had the ability to say it out loud and as hard as it is right now, it feels right. 
I am extremely blessed to have two wonderful daughters, the world's greatest son-in-law, five grandchildren, a husband who is always there for me and seems to sense when something is too painful even after all these years, and my ex-husband, Jason's dad, who shares the pain of losing him and the joy of having had him in our lives for 15 years (we're fairly functional for a dysfunctional family) and a lot of family and friends I love dearly.   My philosophy has always been that it's not what life hands you that counts - it's how you handle it that makes the difference.  So please forgive me for giving myself a little pity party today.  Saying it out loud feels good.

We shopped til we - filled the car. . .

Hello again!  No - I didn't give up.  I'm still here busier than ever with a little bit of work and a lot of play this summer.
My second annual visit to Sisters, OR was way too much fun!  For those of you who are not familiar with Sisters, it is the place to be in July for quilters.  They host the largest outdoor quilt show in the U.S.  We were able to take in a lecture by Alex Anderson on color choices.  It was very interesting and she is an excellent speaker.

We did "a little" shopping in Sisters and nearby towns and came home with a car full of treasures.  Our favorite place coincidentally is called Cottage Treasures and I brought home a new (old) desk and table along with lots of little bobbles to decorate my studio.

Once upon a time . . .

there was a woman who lived in Montana.  She loved creating but sometimes had what is uncommonly called "creative funk."  When this happened she went looking for inspiration wherever she could find it.  Sometimes she found it right in front of her - in her studio, magazines, internet, backyard, etc.  Today it was found at Shopko in the form of a basket - a project basket to be precise.  This led to finding a project to put in the new basket and in doing so found forgotten fabric just waiting to be transformed into a lovely bag, sweet apron, cozy quilt or throw pillows to die for.  So now this Montana woman is out of her creative funk but now has to make a decision - oh no!!

Spring is blooming inside and out!

I've been working on crocheted flowers for some time now.  Don't know what to call them but I have lots of ideas how to use them.  I think they will look great on handbags or as broach and a few unusual ideas of which I will have pictures soon.

Welcome Retreat

Three days of sewing, laughing, sewing, laughing and more sewing and laughing along with nine talented women - how can you beat that?  We all made Casey B. Bags (Dancin' Daisy Designs) and lots of other projects.  I learned how to make fabric bowls/baskets and have made Easter baskets, a table runner and several potholders for gifts.  Fun was had by all and we are already planning our next retreat.

Jessica's First Vignette

Children can sometimes surprise us in such startling ways!  Three-year-old Jessica (my beautiful granddaughter) gathered these from around my studio and set them up in a little white basket sitting on my desk.  She rearranged them several times before deciding on just the right "composition."  I think it's genius and I'm not a bit bias.

It must be time to snooz!

This is the newest addition to my studio.  I love having a cozy corner to snuggle into.  I seem to spend most of my time sitting at my sewing table where with a 45-degree swivel I am at my laptop, another 45-degree swivel and there is my serger.  Yeah, I worked soooo hard today - it must be time for a(nother) nap.
This is what I do - designs handbag patterns that is.  I have more drawings and ideas than I have time for but I try to focus on one at a time.  I like to make a sample to try out before drawing up the pattern.  I generally make a few changes like bigger pockets or an adjustable handle for those times when one might need both hands free - simple things but I  think it's the details that make a difference.

I Love Strawberries!

These strawberries are so much fun to make and take no time at all.  I stuffed them with broken walnut shells from the pet store so they can be used as pin cushions if desired. The pattern is by Heather Bailey - I just tweaked them a little to get what I wanted.

In the beginning . . .

This is my first post and I'm not sure just what I want to say. My interests are so varied I don't know where to begin. I am almost certain my blog will consist of more visual posts than verbal posts because some days (not always) I skim through blogs just to get some visual therapy. I hope that I can provide a little visual therapy occasionally. I have enjoyed so many wonderful blogs and hope to share those links when I have a little more blogging experience and skill.