Monday, February 28, 2011

Blog of the Week - Flourishing Palms

Meet Linda from Flourishing Palms. She lives in Iowa where there are no Palm trees to speak off so why that title? I love her thought on that.
"First, a palm tree's roots reach deep to find water, the living water of the Holy Word, and thrive.
Second, the core of a palm tree is inside, protected, just as our souls are protected within us.
And third, a palm tree is strengthened and becomes even more resilient in strong winds, just as adversity can make us more spiritually dependent."
Linda is a quilting teacher, free-lance writer, published author, and creator of tutorials amongst other things.

Recently Linda was blogging about some of her UFO blocks/projects and had a "lightbulb" moment. This is one of the applique blocks she shared as a result. I love it.

Her current tutorial is about Prepping for Hand Piecing. I am looking forward to seeing how this one turns out :) Linda's tutorials are great. Well written and simple to follow. She explains her mistakes as well which is nice.

And isn't this close up of her "Jungle Friends" quilt just adorable (find out more at her January 23, 2011 posting.)

A close up for part of "Snowflake Medallion" I love the color combination and the rest of the quilt is gorgeous. My favorite part........ the flower being descended upon by all the flying geese.

Linda's first attempt at quilting spirals. I think it looks impressive.
So hop on over to to see some fabulous projects. Find out why she spends time in Australia and how that has that helped her creativity :)
AND then scurry on over to to find out what Linda and the rest of the Stitchin Mission group have been doing with some quilts destined for Africa. Congratulations ladies.
(Photographs used with permission.)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Colourful Fridays - Black & White

There's so much black and white at our house it was hard to pick out just a few items for my "one shot wonder" :) And just a wee bit of color crept in there.

So let me give you a list (just for a change).
1. lace drapes bought from a thrift store (they hang at a number of our windows.)
2. black & white music folder (belongs to my oldest daughter)
3. caricature of me drawn by a friend when we were both at the Edinburgh Festival in the 1970's
4. one of my black ink sketches of a flower (usually sits in my craft/sewing room).
5. a hand cranked emergency lantern (from my youngest daughter's bedroom.)
6. ladle from the kitchen with a wee candle in it.
7. black sequined evening purse (a gift from my parents.)
6. black and white ceramic Scottish dogs (usually sit on our mantlepiece.)
7. A Love mug :)
8. yoyo
9. cell phone
10. penguin (a gift)
11. Old Bible
12. Snowball candle (from the main bathroom)
13. Fabric postcards (received in swaps)
14. Pandigital - a christmas gift.
15. alphabet beads
16. velvet skirt
17. Marble pieces from the Nashville Temple given as a gift after the dedication.
18. Lipstick

Hop on over to to see what everyone else found around their homes. Look who showed up to visit Robyn :) Party on dudes !!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I made a Heart ........

 meet "Sparkle Heart". She is about 5" wide.
I have a stack of hearts cut out and I am having fun playing with them. I'm hoping that "Peaceful Heart" has arrived at her destination.
Oh before I forget, sign ups for my PIF gifts close tomorrow. Scroll down a few blog entries to Tuesday February 15th, if you want to play along :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Scots Corner - it's been a while

I know a number of you enjoy reading my Scots Corner posts and they have been absent for a while. Hopefully I can get back into the swing of things again. This year they will be posted on Wednesdays.

So where shall we go today I wonder ......... mmm ........ oh I know ........ Mull. In fact why don't we visit some of the islands off the west coast of Scotland for the next few weeks.

Mull is a fabulous island and very popular for day trippers and holiday goers. I have relatives and friends that wax lyrical of the place. As for me ........ the closest I've been is Oban, but it's on my list.
Lonely Planet has this to say "From the rugged ridges of Ben More and the black basalt crags of Burg to the blinding white sand, rose-pink granite and emerald waters that fringe the Ross, Mull may lay claim to some of the most varied scenery in the Inner Hebrides. Add in two impressive castles, a narrow-gauge railway, the sacred island of Iona and easy access from Oban and you can see why it's sometimes impossible to find a spare bed on the island."

Duart Castle is old, as in really old. It was originally a rectangular wall surrounding a courtyard and was part of a line of fortifications. You can see Ben Nevis to the north and Jura to the south. When Mary MacDonald, daughter of the Lord of the Isles, married in 1350 she was given the castle as part of her dowry. It's been added to over a period of time and even those additions are really old. Like many old monuments in Scotland it eventually was abandoned and lay empty for more years than you really want to know about. Sir Fitzroy Maclean bought the place in 1910 and started the mammoth task of restoring the place. (If you collect Lilliput Lane it's in there.)

Torosay Castle is a whole lot younger and was completed in 1858 in what is known as the "Scottish Baronial Style". The castle and gardens were open to the public up until October 2010 and as far as I know it is still up for sale. Oooh who wants to buy a Scottish "pile" with a gorgeous view?

One one of my visits to Scotland I watched a program, with my kids, called Balamory. Loved it. It used Tobermory, the capital of Mull as it's backdrop. I loved the colorfulness of the town AND the characters and wished I could be there watching the program being filmed. It looked like so much fun.

Photos found at

Meet Lachlan Macquarie (1762-1824). Now why would I want to talk about him? Well he was a local laddie, born on Ulva,  who is buried on the island at Gruline. An inscription on his tomb says "The Father of Australia." He transitioned New South Wales from a penal to a free colony and helped to shape Australia. He also took part in the American War of Independence in 1777 (via Nova Scotia)  and stopped off in Jamaica for a wee while, so he got about a bit :) Before becoming Governor of NSW he did a stint in India and Egypt. He is credited with designing one of the original street layouts for what is now Sydney. While he did not think up the name Australia he was the first to use it in official dispatches in 1817.

And just because I love the scenery here's Carsaig Arches on the Ross of Mull. mmmm shades of "How to Train Your Dragon" don't you think ;)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fabric Postcard

This one is heading to Shirley P. in Canada. She is the newly retired leader of Learning FA an on-line fabric arts group I am with. Her husband recently had surgery and she had a bad fall. We all hope both of them recover well and soon :)

This is my "before" picture of the pieces cut out ready to do something with. Each piece is cut 4"x6" and depending on how I decide to embellish I either iron all the pieces together and do some surface design or iron the top three pieces together and do top design stitching and then iron the back on afterwards. Regardless of how I start I always do 2 to 3 rows of zig-zag- stitching round the outside to hold everything together.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blog of the week - Karanan

I absolutely love the photographs and projects in this blog. This artist of whimsy and quiet beauty hails from Finland. I showed the blog to my daughter and she went "oooooh, how interesting ..... I like that one." She likes the dragonfly, I like the snail :)

There's whimsical people by the bucket load celebrating all kinds of activities.

And since I am in the mood for making hearts I had to show you this one :)

There are fun loving animals.

And what self respecting artist/crafter does not have a "quality control" expert in their midst.

To those of you from Northern Europe I apologize for not having the ..'s and o's above the a's. I know there's a way to do it but I have not worked it out yet.
Anyway ....... fabulous blog, great projects of excellent quality, a delight to visit. Enjoy. And if you are a Tilda fan K. has lots of links to go oooh and aaah at :)

Addendum - Oh please excuse my foggy brain the link is (Thanks Elaine for spotting that).
Also if you want to see how I am re-arranging my sewing/craft room hop on over to

Friday, February 18, 2011

I made a star ......

just one .....  to send to Jaye at Her mom is making some star quilts for family and friends that were impacted by the St. Bruno fires.
I did a deliberate raw edge so that it will fray when washed but if Jaye or her mom decide to sew down the edges that's okay too.
Size - 81/2", blue background, yellow star (any kind) was the requirement.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

PIF 2011- do you want to play?

I am going to be the recipient of a gift from the delightful, and very talented Cheryl at

If you would like to receive a PIF gift from me (by Jan 2012) just leave a comment. I'll do a drawing for 3 people on Friday 25th February. You can then PIF (or not). Entirely up to yourselves :)

Addendum - Drawing now closed. The recipients of a PIF from me will be Joan, Mickie and Sue. Congratulations ladies. I'm looking forward to making you each something.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Colourful Fridays - valentine

Most people probably associate the colors red and white with Valentine's Day. Mine gravitates more toward burgundy, a color my grandmother enjoyed, but really for me it's more about a shape and a feeling. I have a collection of hearts ....... much more than this picture shows ....... and they come in many forms. All are special to me in that they bring back fond memories of places, people, events. A gift given made with love, a poem shared, the sweet scent of vanilla as candles are lit, love of home, family, friends and a far away country.
So what is your favorite color of this sweet heart time, what memory does it bring to your mind and heart? To find out more about what some other wonderful people think hop on over to
It's our wedding anniversary on the 14th and the day of the event was cold, damp, and windy. No flowers could be seen because spring had not come. I wore a hand made white dress and veil and borrowed my sister-in-law's shoes. Another sister-in-law and her hubbie travelled a far distance to surprise us. We ate dinner together at a nearby restaurant. I had been in the USA for a short 6 weeks with excited expectations for a new life ahead. The hubster was still in school and working part-time. We never did have a honeymoon. Many years later we marvel at having 4 almost grown children that have survived some of our blundering attempts at parenthood. Who knows one day we might become grandparents but that's for them to decide :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I made a bird ......

two so far. If you can guess the purpose I might make you one :) They're all the rage I hear.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I made a heart ........

yep, just one. There will be more though because I am in the mood to make some.

Meet "Peaceful Heart". She measures about 5". I fussy cut the fabric so there is a surprise on the back for the recipient :)
My doctor told me that I have bronchitis and fluid in my ear, hence the earache (in addition to my regular sinus and allergy "issues") so he gave me a shot, antibiotics and something for my cough. Hopefully I will be right as rain in a few days.
Our school district is letting out 2 hours early today ....... something to do with a weather system heading our way. So my high school kids should bound in about 12.30 ish.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I made a boob ............

Actually I made more than one .......... for Nina Lise aka Mrs. Moen :) They are packaged up and ready to mail.

If you want to help her with her amazing community project hop on over too Be ready to oooh and aaah over some of the ones that have already been sent her way.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fabric Postcard

The recipient for this Postcard Pizzazz swap lives locally. I might just drop it off at her house once I get past my dose of the "Tennessee crud" - cough... cough ... splutter .... splutter.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Aaargh I feel like such a failure :)

Not really ..... well maybe yes, just a teeny weeny bit ..... but I am frustrated with my lack of quilting ambition at the moment.
I had committed myself to making a smaller version of the "Leaves of Green" quilt by Susan Brubaker Knapp (give that lady some hugs ... her mom died a few days ago). My goal was this week-end. Not happening.
So I got my first 4 blocks cut out and sewn and went ...... yuck ..... my daughter went ... yuck also BECAUSE they did not work out with the very pretty patterned fabric I had chosen to sew with them :( So back to the drawing board and the realization that I really do need to make this a scrappy leaf quilt for it to work AND buy some blue fabric for the background AND make it bigger than I was going too AND so on and so forth.

As for the practice blocks .... they are going "on point" and will be made into either little cushions or a Christmas wallhanging. Don't expect to see anything soon because I am going to do some embroidery on them and that takes me forever and a day to get accomplished. The burgundy red fabric in the background is going to show up in the re-arranged project somewhere.
So the hubster and darling son are off to "Home Depot" to spend more money :) Some big manly tools have being showing up in the house the past few days ... (maybe we should turn the garage into a workshop.) in preperation for our fireplace project.
 The hole in our bathroom ceiling is now closed up and the hole in the wall is about to be, which means ......... I will probably be painting some time next week. Hopefully our hot water heater will be fixed by then because I always get paint on my body somewhere and the thought of a frigid cold shower is not appealing to my delicate Scottish body.
I'm about to do another fabric postcard swap and this time the recipient actually lives within 15 minutes driving distance. Maybe I will show up on her doorstep with it.
Enough of my rare Saturday ramblings. I'm off to eat lunch, do some more visits at OWOH2011 and finish up some prep work for teaching a genealogy class.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Conversation Hearts Swap - Big Hill Goddess

If you love to make fabric hearts and enjoy motivational quotes/words then this might be the swap for you. It's just starting up AND is being run by one of our local crafters right here in Nashville :)

Head on over to to find out more details from Angie.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Every Inchie Monday

Now here's an interesting, tiny art work, year long challenge, for anyone that might be interested. An inch a week can be found at The weekly themes are in their sidebar.