Hardanger Journey

Good Morning,

Another week is coming to a close and I find myself, yet again, a day late posting. However, this week, I have a good reason.  I’ve been at battle with my computer. I am happy to say that I think I’ve won this battle.  After 6 weeks of frustration I think I have my computer back to where it should be.  It wasn’t easy and I had to delve deep into places on my computer where I probably shouldn’t have been in the first place. It was like playing detective, push this button and see what happens!  Let’s see how long this lasts before another crisis strikes.

So my journey down “Hardanger Lane” has been fruitful.  I have completed lessons 1-4 so far.  Not bad for my first time, if I do say so myself.  As I mentioned before, I’m teaching myself via the Internet so sometimes written instructions seem daunting when, in fact, it’s really quite easy.  That’s when I search for a video and then the light bulb goes off.  Well, is that all these words really mean????  Much easier when I can see what needs to be done. So here are my results, starting with

Lesson 1


Lesson 2lac-hardanger-lesson-2-4-of-4

Lesson 3lac-hardanger-lesson-3-1-of-2

Lesson 3 with initialslac-hardanger-lesson-3-2-of-2

Lesson 4lac-hardanger-lesson-4

So what do you think?  Did I do a good job?  Should I continue forward? I’m having trouble finding the Hardanger cloth locally but I did manage to pick up a few more color combos of threads for future projects.

Usually Hardanger is done tone on tone but it was suggested to use a contrasting thread so as to see the stitches better.  I sort of like the colors.  I did up Lesson 3 & 4 in the same colors, add my initials to the book mark and have decided to use them to make myself a pincushion and matching box to hold my scissors and needles while working on a project. Since all the pieces are small I may make the first two into pincushions as well.

I’ve taken a break from embroidery and once again making another quilt for a friend.  It will be a simple “Utility Quilt” as I’ve done before, using all scraps from my stash.

And we have started carving our pumpkins for Halloween.  I will post pics of our pumpkins next week so be sure to come back for a spooky post!!


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One Week and One Day Late

Happy Friday to all,

Okay, so I’m a week and a day late in posting.  Frankly, I didn’t really have much of anything to share last week.  I was in the process of embroidering a piece but it wasn’t finished so not much to share then.

But this week has been more productive. I have 2 items to share.

First, that embroidered piece I was working on last week….where did it end up? I wasn’t sure what I would do with the final embroidered piece and took several days to think about it.  I certainly don’t need another toss pillow nor do I need any more wall art. So what to do with this piece?  Hmmmm……then it dawned on me.  Since starting up Yoga again, I need a bag to tote all my junk to class.  Voila!!!  A new Yoga tote bag.

The front panel is the embroidered piece I was working on, a version of “The Tree of Life”, a design I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. The foundation cloth is ecru linen so I used brown crewel thread to embroider the design. The bag itself I used leftover Batik fabric in brown tones and some black nylon webbing for the handles. I also put a pocket inside.  It’s a pretty large size, measuring 15″x17″ and has a box bottom.  Now I have a cute bag to lug all my junk.


The other project I’ve been working on is teaching myself Hardanger.  I didn’t work on it constantly so it took me about 5 days to finish up Lesson One.  Whose idea was this anyway?  Norwegian embroidery is beautiful and I’ve always admired the look so why not give it a try.  The on-line lessons I’m following are okay but when you’re not sure what you are doing, they can be vague. Maybe it’s me but I need to ‘see’,  so  I needed to find some videos to watch on how to actually accomplish what the word were saying.  Coats & Clark have great videos on beginner Hardanger.  I muddled through the instructions and videos and was able to complete Lesson One. One thing I noticed is that I had trouble seeing the tiny holes in the cloth. I even used my magnifying glasses.  Maybe I should have tried this technique 20 years ago when my eyesight was better LOL.  I will continue on to Lesson Two.  When stitches go right, I like this technique.  But, when I mess up, I want to toss it in the trash trying to convince myself that this is ‘too hard’.  Actually, the stitches themselves are not hard but lots of counting and focusing on tiny holes.

It’s a small piece, measuring 6″x6″.  I used red crewel threads, No. 5 and No. 8 as per the instructions.  Usually this technique is done in white or ecru but using red made it easier to see where I was going next.


If I don’t have a nervous breakdown, maybe I’ll have Lesson Two to show you next week.

Have a great week.


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Time Fly When You’re Having (FUN)?

Good Morning,

Okay, I don’t know about you but I feel like I missed the entire month of September.  It’s Sept. 29 and I can’t hardly believe that this month is almost over. It’s always busy here in September with back to school, new schedules, fall cleaning, fall garden work and general cleanup preparing for the winter months ahead.  I feel as if I bore another child tied to my apron strings but when it look down, it’s my vacuum following me around!  I have a cleaning cloth permanently attached to my right hand.  What have I accomplished this month?  Well, 4 rooms off my fall cleaning list, garden cleanup, winter food pantry shopped and stocked, celebrated 2 family birthdays back to back, apple picking and 8 quarts of applesauce later, enrolled Demi in pre-nursery school 3 morning a week, regular weekly visits to acupuncture and I’m signing up for a weekly yoga/meditation class. I’ve also been working on holiday gifts, a ballet tutu for Annabelle, and an in-progress embroidery piece.  Is all this madness called “FUN”?  Of course!  So I guess this is why it seems September flew right by, I’ve been crazy busy. Oh, but what a sense of accomplishment.

Now that September is over, it’s time to focus on October and that can only mean one thing, HALLOWEEN.  The best time of the year to me.  Crisp, cool mornings, warm days and chilly nights…..how perfect is this.

I’ve managed to get a few Halloween CASE cards made that will go out in the mail soon. As usual, thanks to the original designers for their inspiration.

  YOURS                                                                 MINE

70-a36be808c997d695f23c368017e179ed       70-16-lac-spooky-trees71-ee255d62348e9ee24a7bfa39defee086     71-16-lac-not-my-costume73-77c01af7d3c682929a243121502e5351   73-16-lac-scarecrow69-049117bcdcac72ce547f19dfbf08c9e1   69-16-lac-broomstick-wine   48b1b1c70f58bac8dc85e2a8c88a37ad 72-16-lac-smiley-face 68-832ede1898aae6ad341d8e957bd4d4e2  68-16-lac-howling-catsI mentioned earlier that I was working on a pancake tutu for my granddaughter.  Well, easier said than done.  The tutu is finished but is, by no means, a pancake tutu.  Once we get a day without rain or clouds, I’ll take some pics to share.  Whose idea was it to make a pancake tutu????

That wraps it up for this week. Hope you have a perfect Autumn weekend, get outside and enjoy the beautiful fall weather.


Posted in Autumn, Cards, CASE, greeting cards, Halloween, Handmade cards, Holidays, Scan N Cut, Spellbinder Dies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Quilt for a Special Gal

Happy Thursday,

Do you have a favorite day of the week?  For most working gals, Friday is the best day of the week.  You get 2 days off for good behavior.  Yeah, right!   You have cleaning, laundry, shopping, meal planning!  It’s more like being punished for working hard all week long.   But, then when you retire, every day is Friday. Thursday was always my favorite day of the week because it was pay day.  Which is your favorite day of the week?

Thursday is now sort of a pay day for me, I get to post.  Sometimes I have lots to share, other weeks I’ve been a slacker.  It all depends on what’s planned and how much ‘necessary’ stuff I have to do.  This past week I found the time to finish up a project and actually get it in the mail.  Most of you know that I get up very early in the morning, anywhere between 1-3 AM.  Yes, AM.  It’s my favorite time of day, my quiet time to take care of my emails and get some work done on whatever it is I’m working on.  Thanks to my quiet time, I was able to get this project completed in one week.

So what’s the project?  A quilt set, of course.  A couple of weeks back I heard that a good family friend received a huge promotion at work.  Dean of Students.  Such an accomplishment couldn’t go unrecognized.  Since our friend moved cross country to San Francisco last February she’s had to begin furnishing her apartment again a little at a time. With that in mind, I thought what could be a great and useful gift.  A quilt, of course.  I got a vague idea of her decor, one black leather sofa.  Yep, that’s it.  So I had to come up with a color scheme that would fit in but also accent the decor.  Black, white and a spot of one accent color.  This is what I came up with.

“Star Gazing” is the name of this quilt and I thought it very appropriate.  Darn sunshine made the white blocks a bit wonky.  Instead of the typical batting, I used a vintage white cotton sheet from my stash, still in the packaging. The tag said “Jordan Marsh” so how long have I had this flat sheet?  Sheeting makes for a warm but not bulky quilt, perfect for San Francisco weather.img_3360I also made 2 matching pillows. (better lighting)img_3363Then for a bit of color, I added on 2 more fun pillows I made from my pillow fabric purchase a few weeks ago.  Both are a bit sassy with the jute trim and long fringe.img_3366And, of course, the signature plate on the back revealing the recipient.  I hope Lauren has received the package already.  If you’re reading this post before your package has arrived, Lauren, stop and immediately go to the corner for a time out.img_3370

I hope Lauren likes her quilt and pillows.  All the pillows have an envelope back so Lauren can switch then out if she wants a color change.  Lauren has been so successful in her career and we all wish her the best of everything.  Way to go gal!!!

October is fast approaching so next week I’ll be back with some Halloween items.

One last note:  Happy Autumn!!!  Finally fall has arrived but with temps in the 80’s it still feels like summer.  Because of the hot weather and drought conditions here in New England, our fall foliage will not be very spectacular this year.  That’s OK with me as long as the cooler weather arrives soon.

See you all next week,


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Hello to all,

It’s been a somewhat crazy week here.  I’ve been so busy trying to tie up loose ends and finish up my current sewing projects.  Out with the old, in with the new!

A couple of things I would like to share with you today.  While going through my stash looking for something totally unrelated, I came upon three silk ribbon embroidery pieces I did up back in 2009.  Can’t remember why I made these up but they went unfinished for seven years.  I decided to resurrect them and do something fun.  Gosh, I didn’t need any new pillows, I already have about a million.  So what to do with these pieces?  I’ll make wall art.

Here’s how I accomplished this for little money.  I went to Joann’s armed with two 60% off coupons.  After searching the entire store for some sort of artist canvas or backing that would work, I found unfinished wood frames in approximately the size I wanted. I had already framed each piece with some leftover fabric knowing that I could add another small border if I needed to enlarge the finished piece so size wasn’t a huge issue.  Each frame was $9.99 but with 2 coupons I got both for under $9.  Since I planned to wrap the piece around to the back, the only thing that mattered was that the front of the frame was flat.  I removed the glass and built up the void with some leftover mat board to make it flush with the wood frame.  Then I could easily center the design, wrap to the back and staple.  So simple and easy.  Voila, instant wall art!

This piece has two smaller SRE pieces, which I fringed the edges, stitched onto a piece of plaid fabric, fringed those edges and the stitched to another fabric backing.  These were placed landscape on the frame.lac-sre-wall-art-9-2016-aThe second piece was larger so I mounted it portrait style.  I used whatever scraps of fabric I had and made it work.  lac-sre-wall-art-9-2016-b

Of course, I have no idea where these pieces will finally end up but for now they rest on the top shelves of my 2 library ladders in the living room.

My next fun project was just that, FUN!  I found the fabric a few weeks ago and I knew I had to have it.  Just too cute and so true!!!  I made up 4 simple pillows, 2 for me and 2 for friends.  My friends love their pillow and so do I.  I keep mine on my chairs at my craft area, one at my computer and the other at my work table chair. A little cushion for the lower back or the tush helps when sitting for long periods of time.lac-create-pillows-8-2016

Notice all the fabric in the background and one of the SRE pieces before I mounted it.  You can see that my work area does get messy!!

This last project I’ll share today is some things I made up last year.  I did a swap with a group and I received a wonderful packet of fabrics.  It took me awhile to decide what I wanted to make but finally decided on some sewing accessories.  That way I could see and use the great fabric.

Here’s the fabric pack and all the wonderful fat quarters.from-hazel-fabric-aI first made up this cute and very handy owl tool holder.  I keep my essential tools close by when working and get to giggle a bit.  How fun is this!!lac-owl-hazel-swap-fabric-2-2015I wanted to use all the fabrics so I went ahead and made some pattern weights using rice inside to weigh the down. This pic shows the fabric pieces before stuffing.lac-pattern-weights-hazel-fabric-2-2015Lastly, using every bit of fabric, I made up a thread catcher to put all the bits of thread in as I work and trim threads.  Next to the thread catcher is a glass jar where I was collecting all my thread bits.  I think the fabric thread catcher is much nicer.lac-thread-catcher-hazel-swap-2-2015

Oh, one last thing.  What the heck is going on in my garden?  It’s mid-September, time to wind down the garden but look what I found yesterday, in full bloom!!!!

An EASTER LILY!  Frankly, I didn’t even know this was here amid my Day Lilies that have since bloomed and died back.  Aren’t Easter Lilies suppose to bloom around spring time?  Is my garden freaky or what?  I’m lovin’ it and my off season Easter Lilies have become the talk of neighborhood.


Next week I will show you a quilt set for a friend.  I will be mailing it out next week to Lauren who is in San Francisco.  I don’t want to spoil the surprise just in case Lauren reads my blog, so be patient.

So there you have it.  Another zany week from my world.  Come back next week to see what new trouble I can get myself into.



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Good afternoon friends,

I’m a bit late posting today because I took an adventurous step out of my comfort zone.  I went for an acupuncture treatment.  I suffer from chronic back pain among other bothersome nuisances and can’t seem to get any opinion, diagnosis or treatment.  So I’ve taken matters into my own hands.  I had no idea what to expect but was pleasantly surprised to find it quite soothing.  The acupuncturist was so nice, attentive, knowledgeable and helpful.  I expressed my complaints and within 1/2 hour I was looking a bit like a voodoo doll!!  And believe it or not, it didn’t even hurt so those of you who are nervous about needles and shots, this was a piece of cake.  I sat in a comfy chair in a dimly lit room with soothing new age music and drifted into nothingness.  About 1 hours later, I was de-pinned and felt great.  I know that the effects of acupuncture take time but just sitting quietly for 1 hour was relief enough for me.  We set up a treatment plan and schedule.  I’ll go back next week for another treatment.  I’ll keep you posted of the results but for now I’m quite pleased.

Now onto some new things I’ve completed this past week.  It’s pillow time again.

This first pillow was a blast from my past, candle wicking,  I did some of this technique years ago and always wanted to do more.  I love to make Colonial Knots and a pillow project seemed to fit the bill.  And what luck, I actually had #5 Pearle Cotton to match the fabric exactly.  A simple design which didn’t take very long at all.  I find it very relaxing to this type of embroidery.lac-candlewick-pillow-8-2016Next is a pillow for my granddaughter, Demi.  It’s actually a pajama pillow.  I happened to find a cross stitch piece I did several years ago and thought it would be a good focal point for a pillow.  I made a pocket for the PJ’s and another for her favorite bedtime books. The polka dot fabric and rick rack were from my stash.  How cute is this!lac-pj-book-bag-8-2016Lastly, I made a special pillow for my friend, Fran.  Fran re-did her bedroom and needed some accent pieces.  I came across the embroidery pattern on Pinterest and knew immediately that it would be a perfect centerpiece for the pillow.  I trimmed out the pillow a border of floral print and another border of ticking fabric.  I also made a pleated ruffle as a final accent.  Fran loved it and it has found a happy and special place in her home.lac-fran-8-2016-1

I’ll leave you this week with one (really 2) very cute and special pictures of my granddaughter, Demi.  These pics were taken last Tuesday, her very first day of pre-nursery.  A bit of separation anxiety but I think she’ll be fine in no time.  She actually was very excited to go and enjoyed playing with all the kids.

img_0488Of course, it was raining so we just had to adorn ourselves with our new  rain gear.img_0508And it gives me 3 hours, 3 days a week for ‘me’ time which I quickly turned into sewing time.  I’m now working on a special quilt for a special gal and hopefully it will be complete by next week.

So be sure to stop by next Thursday and see what I’m up to.


Posted in Cross Stitch, Handmade Crafts, Home, Home Dec, Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

An Old and Much Loved Fabric

Good afternoon,

I know I’m a bit late posting today but I’ve been busy as a bee…..sewing, sewing, sewing. And, of course, I had to suspend my sewing to take a road trip to the fabric store and get more fabric….YEAH!  And, all with coupons, even better.

So, this is my fabric story.  Why do we buy the fabric we do?  What is it that compels us to buy yards and yards of one particular fabric with no real plan in mind?  What attracts us to one particular fabric and not another?

Well, I have many answers but the best loved is “because I just had to have it”.  That seems to work all the time. Using this excuse justifies any and all fabric purchases, no exceptions, and it works!  So I’ve continued to use this reason for years and years.  Thus, I have some fabrics in my stash that are well over 10-12 years old, still sitting patiently waiting to be used.  And, somewhere in time, the day will come that the light bulb goes off and guess what.  You HAVE the perfect fabric.

So I purchased yards of a fabric that I just loved and still do.  I made up several quilts years ago with this fabric and had a bit left over.  I liked it so much that I purchased more yardage of the same fabric ‘just in case’.  Well, it’s been sitting on the shelf waiting for the right moment to jump out and say ‘use me, use me’.  So that is what I did this week (along with a few other small projects).

I originally purchased this fabric because #1:  I love Lilacs and #2 I love the colors.LAC Lilac Pillows 8-2016 copy

Here is a pic of the quilts I originally made back in 2005. I think I made 3 and sold them all.

095 Lilacs 4

I purchased more of the same lilac fabric and in 2010 made a knitting bag,  a bag for crochet hooks, knitting needle bag and another bag for circular needles. LAC Knitting Bag pouches 2

I still had some fabric left over and it sat on the shelf until this week.  I decided to use up as much as I could and produced several projects.  Two pillows and a top quilt.

I had forgotten about several silk ribbon embroidery pieces that I did up in 2009 and looking for something  else, I came across the embroidered panels. I decided to make a couple of pillows, one using the silk ribbon embroidery piece and one with the very last of the fabric.

First I made this simple whole cloth bed coverlet using the entire width of the fabric and the desired length.  Very simple machine stippling.  I also used an old bed sheet instead of batting.  I think it makes a warm quilt without the bulk of batting.  I used solid purple fabric for the backing and black for the binding, all from my stash.  SIMPLE.

LAC Whole Cloth Quilt 8-2016

This pillow I actually designed to fit my PJ’s into so a button top closure worked perfectly. I frayed the edges of the embroidery piece and built it out with borders.

LAC Ribbon Emb. Pillow 2 8-2016

This last piece of fabric I made a pleated pillow and used up every inch of fabric.IMG_3342

So all my lilac fabric has been used.  I really feel like I won this battle of the ‘endless fabric stash’.

I did make up a few more things this week but will wait until next week to post about them. I don’t want to be long -winded LOL.  Plus, my new fabric is calling out to me so I must begin work.

See you all back next week for some more finished projects.







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