Tuesday, October 27, 2009

First Public Showing

My embroidery machine is back from it’s week long checkup. It doesn’t take me that long when I go to the doctor – but then again, I am not that complicated either.

Actually last week turned out to be productive on the quilting side of the business. I finished a few projects and started a few more. AND I was with THE DUDE all week. That always adds sunshine to my life. He is full of hugs and fun. The family room looks a little bare without the Legos, game controllers and books everywhere; but he’ll be back soon.

This morning I had my first ‘one person showing’. A friend of a friend called and stopped in to see what kind of things I was doing. It was a ball getting everything out on display and arranging things for the showing. I found I had more things in inventory than I thought I did. I filled up the dining room and the overflow went on the staircase. (I still didn’t put it all out.) She bought the Jacobean Partridge in a Pear Tree. Thank you Sue from California.

I was working on perfecting my ‘log cabin’ quilting last week and THE DUDE had a ball making different patterns by moving the squares around on the floor.

This work-in-progress (WIP) is the final result of his design. We are both very proud of it. This will be a table topper (36” square) or wall-hanging when finished. It will be posted to my store this week at www.hummingbirdtreasures.etsy.com.

Big T and I are off to San Diego for a week this coming weekend. K&A are buying their first home and we want to help them get settled. Actually, I am going to play with the LITTLE MISS for a week – the rest of them can unpack boxes and all that other stuff.

From me to you, lots of hugs and thanks for joining me in my new adventures of learning to be creative and artistic.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lego Wars, UFO's and WIP's

My embroidery machine is in the well-baby clinic for a complete checkup, annual vaccinations and such. My home studio not only looks empty (well not really, no way could it look empty), but my sewing machine has decided to act up in the absence of her sister. Kind of reminds me of my two girls when they were growing up. This is going to be a long week. My original plan was to use the time for that growing stack of UFO’s and WIP’s.

The problem is that my brain is not in the well-baby clinic and hasn’t stopped. I am still unconsciously creating and I can’t try any of my new projects that keep creeping into consciousness. I have some great ideas for using some very simple Christmas appliqués that I am dying to try. Of course, these ideas didn’t surface until my machine was gone. My idea file is not well organized; my notes and sketches tend to be written just for me on small scraps of paper and are somewhat cryptic to say the least.

The DUDE is staying with us this week while his mom is at a conference, visiting her sister, and playing with the LITTLE MISS. So there are lots of sunshine and spontaneous hugs in my life right now. We have the battle of the century upstairs with StarWars Lego characters all over the family room. If he just didn’t have to get up so early to go to school. . .

I am trying to learn how to play bridge by reading a couple of books a good friend lent me. I must admit that I understand it a tiny bit better on the second time through the books but my brain is in for a real challenge. I must find just the right gift for her when I return her books which are now starting to look very dog-eared at best. She can never accuse me of not reading them. Not everyone goes to bed at night all tucked in with a book about bridge – now I’m really worried about me.

From me to you, lots of hugs and thanks for joining me in my new adventures of learning to be creative and artistic.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tools and Hugs

Last week while I was ‘vegging’ behind a book for bookclub, Big T gave me a surprise love present. Neatly stashed in a bag from PepBoys were two little sewing tools that I don’t know how I lived without the last year or so.

One is a ‘telescoping magnet’ to find that elusive needle in the rug (or worse, on the couch); and the other is a little mirror like the dentist office uses to see down in the depths of my machine when I drop the screw in the bobbin trace (and don’t ask – I did it twice). I already swear by the value of the magnet when I dropped my one and only small quilting needle last night on the hardwood floor.

On the technical side of the business, I’m making good headway and the best news of all is that I solved my button problem. (Well actually, I had it 98% finished and Audrey of http://www.audreyscountrycrafts.etsy.com/
solved the remaining 2%.) I hope I don’t have to go through that very often. Speaking of Audrey - check out her blog at
http://www.audreyscountrycrafts.blogspot.com/. Now there’s a woman with a following and a commitment who still takes time to help when the cry goes out. Way to go, Audrey!

I am starting to see signs of a few more followers. Thank you all – give yourselves a big friendship hug from me.

Speaking of hugs, on the east coast and especially in the south, there is a nice tradition of greeting each other by giving a friendship hug. That didn’t exist in California (most of my life was spent there) so it was a little strange to get used to when we moved to the east coast – but now I love it. There is nothing as warm and inviting as a quick, warm hug from a friend.

So from me to you, lots of hugs and thanks for joining me in my new adventures of learning to be creative and artistic.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Fall Pleasures

I really look forward to publishing this blog. It would be nice if there is anyone on the other end reading it; but then again, it’s great therapy just writing it. So on with the writing.

Fall is definitely here in North Carolina. Color is showing everywhere you look. I really think fall is my very favorite season (followed closely by winter). The windows are open, the a/c is off for the next 6 months, a light quilt has found its way to our bed and a few candles will start to reappear strategically around the house this weekend.

While I am not big into seasonal decorating, I have removed most of the signs of summer and put some fall décor around the house. I was taking photos for
www.Hummingbirdtreasures.etsy.com earlier this week and Big T was telling me how much he liked the new table runners – I didn’t have the heart to tell him they weren’t for us. But it did make me feel guilty enough that I went digging until I found a few I had made for us.

I am really into fall, but I personally do not care for Halloween. It probably goes back to my teaching days when it was my least favorite holiday during the school year. So Hummingbird Treasures does not show any Halloween merchandise. I know, it makes me feel like a Halloween grinch. My Autumn Fest line is dedicated to the beauty of fall complete with pumpkins and scarecrows but no witches or black cats for Hummingbird Treasures.

This table topper is the first quilted item I made in my first quilting class two years ago.
I think it will always be one of my favorites even if all the points on the stars are not exactly “pointy”. By the way, my younger daughter made the beautiful floral basket sitting on the kitchen table.

We changed the living room around this week and I like the new spacious look. This is a really big deal in our house. Big T likes things like pictures, couches, etc to be in symmetry. I, however, do not balance anything. I like the unsymmetrical look and look for balance in other ways – 2 little things are balanced with one long, skinny thing. So when we finally change a room around to where we are both happy, it is a really big deal (for both of us).

I have been looking for a way to frame the beautiful embroidered angels I have posted in my Etsy store. They are finished and are listed as “ready to frame”, but I have decided to frame one to show how it will look when framed.

I found the cutest gingerbread man fleece at Joann’s today. My one year old granddaughter needs a new sleep sack. These are great because mom and dad don’t have to worry about her kicking the blankets off. So into her jammies and then zipped into her sleep sack and off to bed. I wish they had things like this when my babies were small.

These placemats are from the Hummingbird Treasures Autumn Fest line. The rich chocolate brown with beaded edging is the perfect background for the cornucopia of fall vegetables and fruit. The colors are very complementary with just the right amount of contrast between dark and bright. I found the placemats on a clearance rack and have been waiting for the right design.

The Autumn Fest table runner is longer than usual (54 inches) and perfect for the dining room table. I had fun with this one using the colors of fall to frame the four fall images of scarecrow, autumn wheelbarrow of vegetables, country mailbox and pheasants, and a beautiful fall floral arrangement. To give it that quilted look, I used a medium loft batting for just the right cushiness.

I am still learning how much I do not know about marketing on the internet. My new quest this week is “how do you make a button”? This precipitates a button exchange between blogs to market each others’ sites. I can’t exchange “buttons” until I have one of my own. (And to top it off, I am one of those control freaks who won’t ask anyone else for help until the very last possible moment.)

If there really is anyone out there, let me know. You can leave me a comment on this blog. Thanks.