March 21, 2012

What Goes With Me... the Traveling Turtle

It's Spring.  Did you know?
The temperatures for the Great Lakes area have been crazy - it was freezing fog with high winds one day, and the next we're opening windows and enjoying "walking weather".   We are moving into days that I enjoy... a mix of cool temperatures and partly-sunny skies.

I'm beginning to organize my things for another visit to my sister's home.  I'm going to be there for a long visit, so getting everything into one big piece of luggage, is kind of tricky.

I made a needle case for traveling.

No pattern necessary for this, it's just sheets of felt sewn back to back, and left-over bias binding for the edges.  I did sew an extra felt band (3" wide) across the center of the "pages" for the needles to have a better grip.

I'll take along the "Keeping Busy" project, that way the family will get to see the progression.   The Traveling Turtle that I started for my sister during my last visit, will be returning as well... a pretty batik one, that will represent 2012. The design for the turtle shell will be a surprise.

I've been reading-up on  Zentangle.  
I'm interested in its meditative qualities, besides the creative aspects.  I thought this would be something that my sister would enjoy doing... much like the Spirograph kit that I bought for her. ...As you read through the Zentangle blog posts, you will notice that people are exploring the art and expression through different mediums; beyond paper and pen.  When you have time, look up  Suzanne McNeill, she is a Certified Zentangle Teacher, and has authored several books on quilt-making with Zentangle!
Look at these videos, I'm sure you'll find them inspirational:
Stephanie Corfee and Traci Bautista - Doodle Painting Collaboration  and  Girlie Glam Painting by Traci Bautista

I wouldn't call myself a "doodler".  I draw, but it's deliberate; I sketch mainly to capture a vision and get it recorded into my notebook... it is far from meditative.

The goal: For it to become meditative.

I asked my sister if she still had her stack of felt squares; she does.  Good to hear because I have a pile of patterns that are perfect for felt crafts. 

We'll be busy as bees!

This little horse (pattern) is from the book: Christmas Decorations from Williamsburg's Folk Art Collection.  The pattern is listed as a "burlap" animal, but I couldn't help myself...

I've been in a Folk Art mood... It started soon after I eyed a Dala Horse ornament.  Must have been all the pretty floral stitching!  I used a pattern found on-line to make one, it's addicting (there will be more coming). 

I'm finding all kinds of embroidery designs to work with, as I go through books and websites... everything from Pennsylvania Dutch to Hawaiian  Applique.

Mary Corbet's Needle 'N Thread site is bountiful with information and designs. Many of the topics that I did a search on, lead me right back to her site, so I recommend that you start there for Folk Art and its history: 

I've cut out 12 small blocks to stitch on to; some blocks are from designs that I found on Mary Corbet's site, as well as  Some blocks will be of my own doodling...

Here is the layout for one block, showing the colors that I'm using. This will be a wall-hanging or pillow when finished.

After reading Thearica's  comment on my last blog post, I got to thinking about a little Peacock Softie... what a sweet idea.
Initially, I was invited to go and photograph our friend's Peacocks, besides being given the armful of feathers, but it's been muddy conditions.  I'll have to take their up their offer when I return, for now I'll just use some pictures that my son took (from when he got chased by Peacocks on Sam's Hill) for inspiration.  **laughing**  Somewhere on this blog, you'll find those Peacock pictures.

I've been dreaming about Peacocks for weeks now, and everywhere I look, there's Peacocks-this and Peacocks-that, even new fabrics on the shelves in beautiful Peacock designs (look up Timeless Treasures fabrics).  ... must be a "sign"!

I spent Saturday morning sketching and playing with what this "softie" could look like... the pattern pieces are coming along nicely.

Happy Spring, 2012 

... I'm off to measure my luggage and figure out what's going with me and what's staying. 


  1. Safe travels, and have fun stitching with your sis!

  2. Thank you, Judy! We will be in Stitchin' Heaven if I can locate her sewing machine! I know she has one. I'm certain she has one! I hope she still has it...! I can't take mine, not enough room in the bag!
    You-all are still getting Winter Weather!

  3. Jess - "On the Road Again" keeps running through my head.... wishing you a safe trip and many hours of treasured moments with your sister! Oh...and I love the idea of a Peacock!

    1. Well, here we go! I'm packed like a gypsy!! Taking some of Fish Charms/Lace/Threads to keep me busy. Hoping that sister and I spend lonnnnng hours at the kitchen table doing artsy stuff!
      When I have internet access, I'll check in with everyone... until then, stay safe and HEALTHY. ((hugs))

  4. Hi Jess, Just checking in on you making sure you are safe and sound. I can only imagine what you have created in the past few weeks! Heading out to CA for a week to see the grandbabies so will catch up with you soon.

    Big hugs!

    1. Hi Nicki! Thank you for checking on me. I had a wonderful visit with my sister, she is doing much better. it is amazing all the things you can get done without internet (sister isn't hooked up, but who knows? maybe she'll join us and be online!) I am now in Idaho visiting the kids and will make my way back to the Midwest in a couple of weeks. The best way I can describe the last couple of months is, "time well spent".

      Hope you had a wonderful time with your family!


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