once, at Goodwill, I found a pile of these and bought them all.
I was charmed by the symbolic meaning of the colors and loved the green especially...now, this is the last one that I have because I gave them all away... I enjoy the meaning behind the gift.
I wish our American Culture had something similar.
I prefer this to a store bought gift.
But I guess I am not like everyone else.
My bling is usually mica sparkling in a river rock or simple, like these glass beads on a pin.
Very humble but full of meaning.
To wear a beaded love letter and shyly say yes, I got it from my love.
Read more about the history and meaning of the Zulu Love Letter here
I Googled it and found a book published by Interweave Press:
Zulu Inspired beadwork.
It mentions the zulu love letter pins.
Need to add it to my wish list...
I am busy.
secret stuff that can't be shown
need to finish
you'll see it all soon enough
go, get! be gone with you!
go do something useful or crafty or clean out the refrigerator...
well, maybe that's a bit harsh!
just go read my archives...there's lot's of stuff in there you already forgot about...
Another charming free embroidery pattern from Andrea!
I hope one day to do them all in red work and make a quilt.
A bad bird year!
12 designs all quilted together!
wouldn't that be cool?
She also has some gnomielisicous gnew gnome embroidery patterns in her ETSY Shop!
This is from Elsita (Elsa Mora) on Flickr...Good Morning and happy Monday!
I have so much to get done today!
I am going to go walk first and enjoy the morning while it is still cool...
I thought you might enjoy some of Elsita's flower girls.
Please click on the picture to transport to Flickr to view more of her lovely work.
Have a Great Day!
Love & Stitches,
Visit Elsita's Blog here
I believe that now, more than any other time in History, your Dreams can Become Reality.
With a little networking and a lot of hard work and determination you can do what your parents or grandparents never could.
The most difficult part is to overcome your own insecurities and self-doubts and JUST DO IT!
I get a lot of emails from reader's of this Blog who tell me I am wonderful and talented and while that makes me feel really great, it sometimes makes me feel like they don't think that they have as much talent or their work isn't as good. I don't believe that. I think we all have a talent. It may not be Art but you don't know that unless you try.
Follow your heart.
Listen to the song it sings.
I admit that there is a lot of Bad Crafting going on out there.
But there is a LOT of ART too, being created by very talented people without the self confidence necessary to overcome the criticism or doubt in their own abilities.
I am constantly asking myself if my work is any good.
Will someone fall in love with it?
Will it enhance someone's life?
How much should I charge for it?
Should I quit?
Should I get a real job?
This doubt is corrosive and eats away at my productivity.
It has to stop!
I have to believe in myself and my work.
I get disheartened by the sheer number of other artists out there creating and selling and think that I don't have anything to contribute.
It's like the cereal isle at the grocery store. Who needs another choice? Already one flavor of Cukoo for Cukoo Puffs. But wait, now there's strawberry, vanilla and rootin tootin raspberry.
When you access your right brain and allow yourself to look at everyday objects in your life you can view them artistically. Like seeing faces in the shower curtain or cracks in the sidewalk.
I see faces everywhere.
Try it. Like looking for shapes in the clouds.
It isn't crazy, it's fun!
Make it a game.
Use your innate ability to create and genetic programing to recognize human faces in things.
Then get your pencil and start drawing the line.
Not the whole shape, just the line.
Feel that line flow through your arm and into the pencil.
The more you practice the better you will become.
The more you show your work and get mixed reactions, the stronger you will become.
Don't take it personal.
Sometimes people are sarcastic or critical if they don't get it.
It makes them feel dumb.
Like, you know something that they don't or maybe it should "mean something".
(Well, get used to it.
I am growing a thicker skin.)
Sometimes, if you just make what you want, and drop all your preconceived notions of good/bad and right/wrong, you come up with something totally new and different and excellent.
So, people, please, TRY.
Just ask yourself: What Am I Afraid Of?
Answer yourself HONESTLY.
Then just give yourself permission to try. If you fail, only you will know. Only you will criticize yourself. You can always throw it away.
Become who you dream to be.
You Can Do IT!
I just stopped by Karen's Blog and after I picked my jaw up off the floor, I ran over here with her picture to share with you.
Aren't they lovely?
Maybe you can show her some love and she'll tell us more about them...c' magnifique!
Good Morning, Mr Sunshine, you brighten up my day....
I found this vintage tatted/crocheted yellow piece on Thursday when I went on my adventure.
At first it reminded me of an egg.
Then I thought, perhaps it is a sunny day , here by the lake.
I am so happy! I finished the Doll Quilt for the Swap!
I will take more pictures, tomorrow, when the sun is really shining!
Have you ever been Charmed?
I was yesterday!
I went with my friend Diane Bunker (check out her Website here! She does art!) on a little adventure in Ellenton and Parrish, about 35 minutes North of Sarasota.
We went to several junk shops (they are dirtier than thrift shops) and I found a few treasures; an old quilt and some beautiful books and a few glass Aunt Gemima Syrup bottles.
Then I got some new fabrics at the quilt shop and then we had a delicious lunch at a nice Italian Restaurant and Martini Bar!
I really wanted a chocolate martini but it just is never gonna happen! I think I like the idea of of getting drunk on chocolate more than anything, right?
Then we went to CHARMS.
This is the back of the house where you can park.
There are whimsical little garden art displays and flower beds and trees and it is lovely! You know that there is going to be something magical inside!
I love the montage of antiques and interesting things everywhere!
There were even a few chickens!And an owl...
So, we walked around to the front, yellow roses along the way.
I was starting to get excited. Like I knew this was my kinda place...
Around to the big front porch, delighting in the stained glass windows.
So lovely with the sun shining through.
It reminds me of Asheville.
I love this old house and the anticipation is rising as we head inside.
Oh, I hope there is treasure waiting for me...And there is!
Time to explore! There is so much to see! Antiques and chachkas are everywhere!
We have already been greeted by the owner, Bobbie McGraw, upon our arrival in the parking lot and she has walked with us inside.
She is lovely and spirited and tells us about the Charmed Tea and Fashion Show that is going to take place the day before Mother's Day and a portion of the proceeds from the event will go to benefit the students of James A Tillman Elementary School.
Bobbie leads us upstairs to show me the linens and cutters that she has available and so that she can check out the Blog and see my stuff on Flickr.
She is in love with my quilted bag and has expressed an interest in carrying them in the shop.
I am thrilled at the prospect and we chat happily about aprons, barkcloth, lace, and pompoms!
I am so happy to have found this delightful place! It is such a Calamity! There is so much to look at that even I am going into sensory overload!! As if that were possible!!!
Chenille and linens and lace everywhere!
Even the bathroom is filled with treasure!
vintage hats and dresses and sweaters and knick knacks!
I could have stayed in the kitchen for hours and not seen it all!
It was definitely my favorite room.
wow is all I can say! over and over again! wow!
I am so glad I have these pictures to look through because I am seeing things that I totally missed yesterday!
So, if you live in our area and want to get together for tea and scones then give Bobbie a call to make reservations.
She serves a wide selection of tea and scones, pastries, savories with Devonshire cream, jams and marmalades.
I want to come back with a group of my BFF's and wear hats and gloves and flowing dresses and have a TEA PARTY!!!
Please, oh, please, won't you come have tea with me at Charms?!
I might set up some Paper Doll Classes there this summer. It would be wonderful out back under the shade of the old oaks where she has started to create a magical garden.
It isn't difficult for me to imagine twinkle lights and chinese lanterns strung from the branches and chandeliers and tables with comfy chairs and glitter getting spilled and the sound of laughter and music and happiness flowing through that enchanted place.
I can see children dancing in fairy wings...
Charms of Leffingwell is located at 905 Leffingwell Avenue in Ellenton, Fl.
Bobbie McGraw would be delighted to have you come and visit her and have tea and enjoy her lovingly restored 100 year old Victorian Shop.
The hours are: Wed-Sat 10 til 5, Sunday 12 to 5.
Monday and Tuesday by chance or appointment!
call her at 941-723-6563.
Tell her Calamity sent ya!
Elvis has gotten quite a lot of feathers flyin in my email and so I thought I'd tell the real story.
See, Super Fred is a genius.
He can build computers, program them, and remember every single word that he hears.
He can also play the piano by ear, which I consider astounding!
Recently he decided to put on his lab coat and he has managed to combine a chicken and a duck and form a new breed of bird.
He calls them CHUCKS.
They swim like a duck, lay floating eggs and in the morning, wake you with a QUACK-A-DOODLE-DO!!!
Elvis is the first of his kind.
Fred is now working diligently on creating a Priscilla.
If it doesn't work we'll have to go all Franken-Quack and make one the old fashioned way!
They are all smiling because chores are over and they didn't mess up their aprons!
Yesterday I rode my bike to JoAnn Fabrics (to celebrate Earth Day!) and picked up a purse pattern (thank you Junie for the recommendation) and yet another apron pattern! A girl can never have too many, right?? ***Joan- Here ya go- I edited this post to add a picture of the "cheap & easy"( the best kind!) apron pattern I found on a spinner rack at JoAnn's Fabric Shop.***
I watched Becoming Jane ( thank you again June, it has been a nice birthday present- I could watch it again and again!) for the 5th time yesterday before my bike ride and quilted some more on the chicken quilt. I was delighted to find the Becoming Jane Blog. er, fansite, I guess. I borrowed the fabulous picture below. I am glad there is a place to connect with other Austen Addicts.
"A woman especially if she has the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can." -Jane Austen
My, how times have changed. Would Jane have Blogged it all? It's interesting to think about.
have Knit & Bitch today and it got canceled! don't have a lot to Blog about. Maybe when I finish something...too many irons in the fire and I am not a blacksmith!( but Blacksmiths wear aprons too!)
I added building an Eiffel Tower to my list yesterday! What? Yes, I am going to build an Eiffel Tower of my very own. Look here and tell me that you don't want your own! Agence Eureka has so many cool things to Make & Do, I may never ever be bored again!
Click on her pictures to get to a larger size to print out. Make sure you tell her thank you!
I didn't plant any trees yesterday, for Earth Day- did you? I just rode my bike to do my errands and felt happy that I could send out carbon dioxide instead of more carbon monoxide. Just a small thing but it all helps, right?!
Y'all have a real nice day!
Love & Stitches,
I didn't get too much done on it last night. I had my neighbor girl over for a long time and we played with stamps and she made a "book" and we rode bikes and chased down the ice cream man. I was good- I got one for Super Fred but not me. I have been doing well- no coffee for 4 days, no sugar, only Stevia and fruit for breakfast, salad for lunch and lots and lots of water. I did do the yoyo's and leaves while we watched a movie.So there ya go...I am going to go work on it some more. I am happy with it so far. We'll see how it turns out!Happy Tuesday! Cloverfield comes out today! I might ride my bike over to Blockbuster and get me one!
Love & Stitches,
This is the background for the Doll Quilt for the third round of swapping.
I chose fabrics that helped set the scene.
Blue sky fabric is in a little bit of all my work.
It represents carefree happy days.
The flowers on the upper left look like they were drawn with black outlines.
I used to paint murals like that.
It represents the flowers near the lake.
The corn fabric- I have a large selection of food fabrics and the corn is what chickens eat plus I used to feed it to the ducks all the time.
There are no real chickens on our lake, only Ducks.
Anyway, the brown roses was kind of blah and as I put the sections of fabric together, I kept thinking it needed something there instead but it was just not coming to me.
No time to rip seams!
I rarely do- I just keep moving forward!
So as I was working on this the other night I decided to cut slits in the blah brown section and weave in some more color.
Maybe it was Jude who inspired me, I think it was, or the loom weaving,
but I just went with it.
I am still thinking about the loose ends.
Might just sew them down with the machine.
I am trying to loosen it up a little.
Not be so rigid.
I can hear you laughing at that.
I am very loose compared to traditional quilters, I know.
Ain't nuthing traditional about any of this, right?
No squares- just fabrics in big slabs. I knew I wanted to add some appliqué that would cover up the quilting anyway. What's a girl to do?
So, this guy wasn't standing out from the background enough, so I machined some black stitches around him.
It mimics the other chicken on the quilt.
The dream chicken represented by quilted black lines.
The directions for this procedure are on the inside of the Sulky packaging.
I just wanted to try it after seeing a similar technique done on T-shirts on Martha Stewart's Show.
I printed out a picture of a chicken and traced over the outlines with a sharpie fine point on to the sulky and then pinned it to the quilt top.
I pinned it on the "drawn" flower fabric.
Some of the lines made the finished chicken image seem whacked, so I went over them several times with the machine stitching.
Use a 2-2.5 stitch length.
See? It looks drawn too!
Pretty cool, eh?
Ghost Chicken, Dream Chicken...that's all I will probably ever have!
But I do have plenty of chicken wire!
I stamped this on the Sulky, because it was easier than any other method.
If I hadn't had the chicken wire stamp I would have probably rolled black ink on the actual wire and pressed it on- it probably would have been a Calamity!
So, I am glad I did it this way and after stitching it and
removing the Sulky I had nice results.
OK, So I couldn't hold out until Monday!
I won't tell you how Fred and I loaded the bikes in the car and went to the Start of the Legacy Trail and rode for 10 miles yesterday.
Or how it was such a beautiful day and I couldn't keep the BIG GIANT SMILE off my face because I love to ride my bike!
We rode all the way to Oscar Scherer Park and it was great!
We are going to find a bike rack for the car though- they are just too big and something is going to get hurt if we keep putting them in the back- the headliner, the bikes or one of our backs!
I got a little bit of sun on my arms, face and shoulders and felt really good getting fresh air and using my muscles!
I just am sitting way too much lately and it shows! ( yes, my but does look like a big sack of quilt scraps, thank you!)
So, I wasn't going to tell you all about The Legacy Trail that is part of the rails to trails program and how they bought 12 miles of train track and removed the rails and paved it and added trash bins and benches along the way.
Its very nice to have a place to ride, roll or walk without worrying about getting hit by a car.
I wasn't going to tell you because I wanted to show you my Doll Quilt for the 3rd round of the swap.
I love the way the tail turned out! I added several that I sewed on the machine and turned inside out with the other needle
turned appliqué to give it a more dimensional look.
I have some nice fabrics to choose from for the wings and comb.
Of course, now that I look at the roses as applique , they would make better lips! But Chickens don't have lips!!
Well, the doorbell just rang!
My little neighbor is here for a visit! She wants to make a quilt!
I just had to share this work with you! Created by Sara Lechner... click on the picture to see more... Oh! I just peeked in her Etsy shop! They are listed! Click here... ( Mother's Day is almost here!! hint! Hint! ;)
Welcome to Friday!
What a relief!
It has been a another quick/exhausting week for me!
I scanned a few pages from the current Marie Claire Idees to share with you, as I need to be quick today (post and run!) and get over to the second half of the woven treasure bag class. I fed the squirrels and doves first so I could write in peace! ;)
I can never express how clever and fresh the ideas are in this magazine!
The only way you will ever believe me is to hold one in your hands and turn the page and sigh with pleasure over each new creation. If you came over and sat at my kitchen table, I would hand you one or two and give you a cup of tea and we'd be enchanted together with Marie and her Ideas! Wouldn't we?
I have seen tea cups and saucers used in refashioning old chandeliers but never in a floor lamp like this!
The Liberty of London print fabrics make me forget the room is Pepto Bismal pink as I begin to daydream that this is my cottage by the sea...
They used the Liberty of London fabrics and some thick interfacing to create plates! With fabric 3-D flowers!
To hang on the wall!!!!
Why didn't I think of that?????
I wish your words were in English, oh Marie! I think it contributes to the romance of this magazine- the hunt for it all over town, then the glorious images photographed with style and seductive emphasis on color and design and the mood they create...
I am always seeing old candlesticks at The Goodwill...
Marie says to paint them white and glue some tea cups on them!
Lets step into the kitchen where this lovely green tribute to culinary tools awaits us.
Look over there! Why, what a clever Idea!!
I have loads of small tin molds...get out the drill!
Oh, no, wait, I'd rather fold paper to make those long forgotten gum wrapper baskets...
Maybe just some embroidery today, as I am feeling quiet and contemplative...
Did you say you wanted to crochet, Karen? Well, lettuce begin!
Maybe we should have some of that delicious looking Bombe first! You know, just to keep our strength up! Oh, sweet pea, I love your apron!!
I am not sure, but I think the pictures clearly indicate that this crafter has used some thick paint type substance with her stencils and then cut them out and attached them to white painted tree branches! Another great idea for your stencils!
This magazine is so full of cleverness and fun- like every page has something to either stitch, embroider, knit, paint, glue or embellish!
Maybe you can find one...maybe you can look at the Flickr Group which is devoted to pictures from this magazine...maybe Marie will become your new Best Friend Forever and delight you with her recipes for fun and food and flirty fashions... ahh, to be young and in Paris...
I hope you all have a lovely weekend! I am going to try to take a break and be back on Monday! I have to get some serious finishing done here!
Love & Stitches, Calamity Kim
I have been awake for
two 3 hours and I still haven't taken my walk.
Last night I resolved to start exercising again and here I sit.
I need to walk- to move!
Maybe after I load the pictures and finish this post and it warms up a bit.
It is cold! brrrr!
It seems delightfully refreshing to me!
I love it and am not complaining!
I just wish I could be more routine.
I have a lot of irons in the fire and am making plans.
Big, Big Plans. Dreaming.
So, what else is new? Right?
*** This girl is always dreaming!
When is she gonna wake up and see the reality?
***This is the real world.
***The Big Picture.
***Where there are bills to pay and laundry to wash.
***Dust thick enough to write in and something sticky on the kitchen floor.
***My squirrel out back, calling for me to get the sunflower seeds
***Life, pulling me away to live it.
Holy Rat Attack!!! I nearly had heart failure!!- the squirrel just launched himself against the window on the door!
He has never done that before!
I was ignoring his loud chatter!
He must be starving- I thought as I blithely typed away!
Man! Talk about enabling!
Yes, My name is Kim and I enable squirrels.
All I have are some hazelnuts that I bought at Christmas (dreaming of making cookies?) and I smashed a few with the hammer and poured the rest in a terra cotta saucer out back for him. He will get a few unshelled and then have to work a little for the rest.
Maybe I will ride my bike up to the store and get him some sunflower seeds.
Kill two birds?
Do you ever get tired of hearing yourself think?
I feel kind of sick of myself right now.
Like, I don't have much to say and when I do say something it doesn't come out like I had intended.
Is it just me?
I step out of my comfort zone and go forth into the public and I get the feeling of being a square peg.
I don't fit.
I miss Asheville.
I miss the funky weirdness and Art in the street and people all around me being creative and LOFT.
Hey, Scarlett, ever been to LOFT?
Downtown Asheville- Lost Objects Found Treasures?
Its a great store.
I hope it's still there.
Don't tell me if it isn't. I'm dreaming of it now.
Does that happen to you?
Suddenly look up and find yourself someplace you don't want to be?
Where you feel out of sorts?
Or maybe I just don't feel happy in my own body anymore.
I try to be honest here and in doing so, I delete sentences because it is just too honest.
But so many Artists work out their pain through their words, or with paint or cloth.
I work from a happy place, trying to share JOY.
I don't think of my work as being dark or angry or uncomfortable.
So, when I show something I have made to someone and they don't know what to say and look at me under veiled eyelashes as if they are concerned for my impending outburst of insanity, I have to feel sorry for them.
Because they don't have the vision.
The creative juice pumping in their veins making their heart leap and cavort with new and crazy ideas.
It takes me several hours of desperate soul searching to get to the above conclusion.
They don't understand my Art.
I always have believed that if you have the desire to learn that you are capable of it.
Go to the library for heavens sake and open a BOOK. .
So many people are out there in this world today making ART and crafting and we are all capable of it.
I just don't understand.
Because I assume that everyone is ARTISTIC.
Another opportunity: My low self esteem whispers that I must stink, that my work is me·di·o·cre and I am putting my hands over my ears and saying nah nah na na nah!
I wanted to have a wonderful Blog- My low self esteem says it stinks!
It could be better- more organized!
That low self esteem is really just my poor atrophied Left Brain, crying out to be exercised!
hahahahaah All these years I thought it was because I was worthless and not any good.
Sorry for the rant.
Sometimes I just get my self all upset and can't sleep because of "something" that may have only been a misconception on my part.
Then I wake up and it is still there, having burrowed down deep while I slept, peacefully unaware.
It makes me feel like I should just stay home.
That the idea of being around other people is better than actually doing it.
Or maybe finding different people to be around.
I have several people right now that I truly love to talk with and spend time around and maybe I should just take a meeting with them. Maybe they feel the same way about other people but are too polite to say it. Me and my big foot in my big mouth. Maybe I should stick a sock in it?!
Oh, I know, crazy, well, I just think too much.
Don't say anything about how wonderful I am or my work.
I just want you to listen and let me work it all out before I get on my bike and ride it off. No, That isn't true. I do want to know what you think. Just don't say something about how great and wonderful and blah, blah, blah, "I won't believe you anyway" words. anyway. I need some air. Or another cup of coffee. Or some chocolate.
(Like will this become a purse or a quilt? I have no clue.)
So high, I may never reach them.
I know I won't unless I change my habits.
I need to focus and spend more time finishing.
I can design and conjure up new ideas ad nauseam, but when it comes to finishing it, I need discipline.
The Artist in me?
Admitting there is one, is the first step.
At the library yesterday I found a copy of Nicky Epstein's Crocheted Flowers and am going to bring it over to Picasso's Moon today for Knit & Itch.
Ambitious maybe, but still my purpose for learning to crochet.
I want to make flowers.
It must be the fairy inside me trying to be home.
The weather has taken a nice cooler turn these past few days and I can almost imagine wearing a shawl or sweater.
I don't have a lot of energy today for taking pictures of projects underway.
I have several hats and smock aprons on the ironing board and then some rusted fabric I want to show.
Doll quilt for a swap and composition book covers, art aprons, corsets, another shawl, they all are lined up like magic brooms in that Sorcerer's Apprentice cartoon, where poor Mickey tries to clean the castle.
Last Night, Unable to sleep, I took some Lunesta and while I waited for it to "knock me out" I sketched some new ideas. Just what I needed.
I bought 3 plain page Moleskin Journals at Barnes & Noble yesterday to create covers for an upcoming project.
Upgrading from the Composition Books might be more expensive, but the paper is lovely and without lines and will make a nicer gift.
I seem to vacillate between cheap and luxury all the time.
Is that the City Mouse/Country Mouse inside me?
I appreciate the expensive things: they are softer, prettier, more colorful, clearer, shinier, nicer to the touch.
But isn't it better to buy more with less expense? The Dollar Tree Mentality.
Some things can be duplicated and sold at a less expensive price.
Some things can't.
Linen. Chrystal. Jewelry. China. Dining.
All with the transformative Fine in front of them...
Was it George who wanted to be ensconced in velvet?
But Muslin is wonderful too.
Is this dichotomy in us all? Probably.
Just the Human Condition. Another question to ponder as I shower and get ready for my day.
Oh, yeah, it gets deep here at Calamity Kim.
Usually no deeper than a dish of strawberry shortcake, but thoughtful, nonetheless.
Have you ever bought a Moleskin Journal? Did you use it? Or did you save it, waiting, empty for just the right words or images or decorations? Will you die with it unused on your bookcase? Ready for someone else to use? Don't think it too precious- it has a purpose after all and until you put something inside, it hasn't begun to live either.