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It’s Vacation Time at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe, Nevada!

by Heidi Emmett

Some of you may know that my husband, Robert, and I volunteer for one week during the summer at the Zephyr Point gift shop. I run the retail side and Robert is the Frozen Yogurt King! Going up and staying at Zephyr Point during the summer ALWAYS gets me excited about our up coming Artistic Alchemy Retreat. This year, sadly, was quite different.

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A picture from the deck of the gift shop. Now you can see why we want to “volunteer” to work in the gift shop. We sleep down below the gift shop now known as “cabin 8.” So we have the same view from our private deck. DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com

The gift shop is the top floor. Our sleeping area is the lower deck, it’s a studio apt. There are no volunteers this year. But, we were able to come and pay to stay in this studio apt. from June 19th-26th. It was a REAL VACATION! Haven’t had a total week off in 3 yrs.It was an amazing but oh so different time.
This would have been our 9th year of volunteering during the summer. And of course summer is Zephyr Point’s busiest time.I started my first day there this year by walking around the grounds. The view above is of Tallac Mountain at over 9,000ft. Can you see the cross outline of snow near the top of the Mtn.?
On the walk from from our cabin to Tallac Center and the Dining room. The Dining room is closed this year. Only the cabins are open. They rent out approx. 40 cabins on site.
This is the back of Cabin # 8. It’s the only cabin on the property with the cute, carved shutters. The level you are looking at is the gift shop. Cabin #8 (the studio we stayed in) is now available to rent for the summer months only. There is no insulation.
This is cabin # 28. It is the newly revamped coffee shop on the grounds. Closed for the summer. Miss sitting out on the deck and looking at the “Peek a Boo” view of the lake, watching the birds, chipmunks, people watching, all this while sipping a cuppa.
Wandering around the beautiful grounds of the “hotel” type sleeping rooms of Tallac center. These are rooms Artistic Alchemy retreat students covet. The “Lakeside” rooms! All closed up. This is such a surreal summer.
Above and to the left is Inspiration Point. It is a two story, soaring,open and light filled conference room that is used during the Artistic Alchemy retreat. And 3 stories of more sleeping rooms of which Artistic Alchemy uses all of them. It is so eerily silent.
Go through that archway (Portal of Prayer) and step down a few steps and look at the most amazing view! A prayer of thanksgiving for this amazing place is in order too.
Look how close these rooms are to the lake itself! The views from the sleeping rooms alone are worth the price of admission to our Artistic Alchemy retreat.
Full on view of Inspiration Point. You could be here but sadly, not until September of 2021. What an “Inspiration” Inspiration Point is right now, shhh….it’s SO QUIET! Listen to the sounds of nature and the occasional boat going by.
Total relaxation in my “upcycled” tunic (by The Upcycled Closet via Etsy) and doing some hand work. DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com

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Oh my goodness! Can it be, Heidi working on cutting out a quilt!
Simple running stitches on a piece and contemplating adding a butterfly from scraps. Both of these are home decorating fabric scrap pieces.
My dear friend Linda made me a zippered bag (it is holding all my threads,needles, and beads that I’m working with) that has the cutest panels on it. Yep, this is me.
Or maybe this is me! For the record, I owned a pair of candy striped “cat eyed” glasses in 4th grade.I found out later (my brother married the girl next door) that my sister-in-law was very jealous of my cool glasses and wished she wore glasses. Seriously?! My hair has never been green, but during all that’s going on, I just might dye it that color to hide my dark roots.

I leave you with this inspirational picture.I took it from the deck of our cabin. I spoke with the woman who is SWIMMING! (water temp. 40-46 degrees all year round. Yowzaa!) A family member always followed her. We were at Zephyr Point the same amount of days and without fail, she swam each and every morning. She told me she wanted to push herself EVEN on the mornings she didn’t feel like it. And she always felt so good and so glad when she DID IT.

How about us? During this time in 2020 are we pushing ourselves to do things we maybe have never tried? Or started something and let it slide because we “didn’t feel like it anymore?” I most certainly include myself in this. So let’s all pick something (make a small list, not too long or we’ll be overwhelmed) and let’s “JUST DO IT.”

Blessings and hugs, Heidi

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OFF THE GRID VEST- Check This One Out!

by HEIDI EMMETT

Today I want to show you what a former student from one of my Artistic Alchemy Retreat Workshops has created using Off The Grid Vest, a pattern from my “Art to Wear” collection.

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This is the basic pattern for a jumping off point to create your own uniquely quilted piece of wearable art! Created by Designs by Heidi- contact me at hmemmett@gmail.com to purchase this pattern or go to my Etsy shop/ DesignsbyHeidiEmmett to see more of my designs.

Patty P. is an AMAZING sewist to begin with. She had signed up for my workshop at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat- go here to check out what Artistic Alchemy is about.
Patty’s version of my Art to Wear pattern, Off The Grid Vest, is OFF THE CHARTS WITH PIZZAZZ AND SOPHISTICATION!!  Check out my blog  DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com or email me at hmemmett@gmail.com for more information on purchasing this pattern.

Patty brought her base fabric to the workshop, a black cotton Dobby (type of weave) that was high in texture and interest. It did not need any batting.
A closeup of the color shows the background fabric beautifully. Patty wanted a classic black and white look with hints of fuchsia.
She used fuchsia thread both top and bobbin. I like the criss- crossing of the quilting lines.
She auditioned many black and white fabrics and a few fuchsias until she settled on the perfect amount. This part takes time. But it’s also so much fun as each vest piece starts as a blank canvas.
Patty felt that the vest needed more than just the sticks of fabric. But what? Different sized dots of crisp white fabric that first had an iron on adhesive attached to the back. She ran the piece through her Cricut machine. Voila’, instant dots, oodles of them! She placed them for the best effect and then IRONED them down. NO STITCHING! I love this idea. She said she has had an occasional dot fall off (if rubbed the wrong way, ha, ha. She has extra dots at the ready should she need them.      Off The Grid Vest sewing pattern by Designsbyheidi email her for more information at hmemmett@gmail.com
The sides of the vest are open except for one button with a button loop. She used polymer  clay buttons by Sandra Bruce (Sandra Bruce, one of the teachers at Artistic Alchemy will soon have a line of polymer buttons and earrings available via an Etsy shop)
Patty chose not to use mock “log cabin blocks.” She used “sticks” only. Her attention to the details of placement of each piece and the hint of fuchsia is perfection.
Each fabric stick has been pressed under and rather than zig zag stitch around each stick she chose a simple blanket stitch (on her machine) to hold them in place.
Patty P., thank you so much for sharing your version of OFF THE GRID VEST with everyone. Truly, it is a fabulous ART TO WEAR piece.

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Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com

Bluprint – a word about them (they used to be Craftsy where I also sold my patterns). They closed up shop in late April or around there.  They announced just recently that they are coming back! sometime in September. New owners and new CEO. I’ll keep you posted.

Follow me on Instagram/ DesignsbyHeidiEmmett

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Check out ALL my other “Art to Wear” patterns at my Etsy Shop/ DesignsbyHeidiEmmett  A word to my other “country” purchasers(other than the U.S.). Don’t buy via Etsy UNLESS it is for PDF/digital. For “hard copy” patterns, email me directly so I can save you money on shipping charges. My email address is hmemmett@gmail.com

You can also tap on any of the icons below to get to these places too.

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Thank you for stopping by today. May your scissors, rotary cutter blades, and your MIND, be sharp as you navigate this amazing world of stitching creativity! Hugs, Heidi

I leave you with two pictures of summer fun, Lily of The Nile flowers.

 

 

ONCE UPON A TIME…….

by HEIDI EMMETT

Once upon a time I found a fabulous Coach hand bag at my favorite “boutique” (aka Thrift Shop) in Truckee, CA. It cost me $15. It had suede on the bottom that was dirty. I carefully scrubbed with soap and water. Sadly, the bottom stayed dirty. The year was 2014. I hung it up in my studio and thought and thought about it for a few months. What could be done? I loved the bright fuchsia color. Kaffe Fassett fabrics were strewn all over my attic studio( when aren’t they strewn about?). Hmm…WHAT IF I bring the Kaffe fabrics to my fuschsia purse? A star was born!

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I covered this one in 2015. The gluing had me worried so I had set it aside for awhile longer. I put it on the Kaffe Fassett site (via Face Book) in 2015. Tons of lovely comments. So proud, use the purse all the time in the summer months.  Fast forward to 2018. My friend Christine Barnes saw my purse on my shoulder one day and said, “Heidi did you know that Kaffe is using his fabrics on Coach Bags this year? W-H-A-AA-T!!??  Google-Kaffe Fassett Coach Bags…..Aren’t they GORGEOUS! Check the prices! I am telling you all this because I would like to think that Kaffe himself was scrolling through his Kaffe Fassett site one day and SAW WHAT I CREATED and maybe, just maybe, he copied ME? One can dream, hope, whatever. It’s fun to think about at any rate.
I really like how the colors and fabric design of this particular Kaffe Fassett fabric worked with my Coach Bag.
Within a few months after finishing my other Coach Bag, voila’ I purchased this tiny Coach Bag at another “boutique.” Same problem. Dirty suede in the corners and on the bottom. The corners were perfect for some Kaffe Fassett yo-yo’s.
Yep, it’s a Coach Bag. $4.00 for the bag used my Kaffe scraps and a small amount of glue.
Everything is glued on with Fabric Tac. You will see a picture of the bottle in a few more pics
I ,of course, could not stop with just Coach Bags. But I did keep up with using the Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

Here is a sweet little cross body bag (ha, ha, I almost wrote “Body Bag” Ohhh, dear!)

Up close you can see the flowers on top of the circle are Kaffe Fabrics, while the under layer is a different fabric that goes with. 

Just 3 weeks ago I found this beauty. Sadly it is not a Coach, but I loved the color. It is all leather and in mint condition except for the usual dirty piece of suede. Did you read that first part, JUST 3 WEEKS AGO, ha, ha, and I made the cover for it THIS morning before writing my blog post. Sometimes inspiration for a post hits at the last minute!
At least I started to whittle down my fabric choices last night. This is Paperweight Kaffe Fassett.
Acck..there are so many Kaffe fabrics I can’t begin to remember them all.
Hmm…this Kaffe could work too.
How about this Baba Gabousch(spelling?) piece by Kaffe Fassett?
And one of my favorites, Turkish Delight by Kaffe Fassett. This is an oldie but after maybe 15 years they brought it back. Sew happy.

Ta da! I chose the unamed one ( I have only a  small piece with no selvages (to see a name)).
I think it is a good choice. I adore these stylized flowers and so many subtle orange variations, and the scale of the print, all work well. Kaffe Fassett is such an amazing colorist and designer!
Here’s a great trick that quilters and sewists use deciding on where to cut on a large scaled printed fabric. The inside lines of this rectangle represent the finished size of the piece I need for the purse front.  Slowly move it around until it hits your “sweet spot.”
I sewed two pieces together and included a piece of iron on-fleece (left side of picture).
I machine quilted through all layers, a simple design. I like the dimension the quilted piece gives to the overall design of the purse/tote. This one is big enough to call a tote.
My all time favorite glue, also, the most EXPENSIVE glue. It REALLY works! $14.99 for 5/6oz

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I’m not afraid to glue anymore. Really cover those outside edges with glue. Add your quilted piece and….
Here is my finished Kaffe Fassett Coach Tote Wannabe. By Designs by Heidi.
The quilting on this Kaffe Fassett fabric makes the finished product so jazzy!
Don’t you agree, these sweet petunias remind me of the Kaffe Fassett fabric in the tote.
These petunias are called “Queen of Hearts.”

All right everyone, get out there and make it up (like I did), make it fun (we wouldn’t want it ANY OTHER way), and get it done asap! Wow, it feels good to get something completed in less than a year. I want to try it again. Hugs, Heidi

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Sandy W. Does it AGAIN!

by HEIDI EMMETT

Sandy is from Anchorage, Alaska. A few posts back I showed you 5 (yes FIVE) of her Off The Grid Vests that she had created using my Off The Grid Vest Pattern. You all realize that the sun barely goes down in Anchorage, AK during the summer. I bet that’s why vegetables grow so large, mosquitoes get so big, and Sandy gets so many Off The Grid vests made. My goodness, let’s take a look.

Here is the pattern (above) she started with. It was a blank canvas for Sandy.

This vest has a hint of her own Eco Dyeing in it. I believe this one is for her 90+ yr. old Mom.

 

The cityscape fabric is the PERFECT starting point for this vest. I love the rich colors and how she lined up the print so the flowers are at the bottom.

What a perfect use for these earthy colored Eco Dyes. Go here to check out a book on Eco-Dyeing. I have yet to try it myself but it looks very interesting.

Sandy’s this vest has such good examples of Eco-Dyeing. Nicely done!

She added a pocket (great idea). I need to do that on a few of mine too. I always need a place to put a kleenex (allergies).

Look what else Sandy does. She told me she was just playing with David Lobenberg’s coloring ideas. Sandy! These are so cool! You are an artist in many ways besides fabric.

And here is her husband, Robert who is also an artist. Visit Sandy and her work at

Winfree-studio.com

This kinda looks like our sweet Riley Dog. He is getting Rattlesnake training this weekend (sadly we have rattlesnakes in our county) soooo he might not think we are so wonderful. But we want him to stay safe!

It’s that time of year again! The hydrangeas are deciding what colors they want to be.

Creativity is just a few steps away- have some handwork in a little bag or box so you can take it wherever you go.

Wherever you are today, may the sun shine on you. Whatever you do today, may it give you a sense of peace and completion…Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God! Hugs, Heidi

A Cup of Tea For You & Me!

by Heidi Emmett

Sometimes we need to MAKE time to work on a new technique or start a brand new project after perusing through our”stuff” in our sewing space.

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Almost 10 years ago, I bought this card by Sue Mattero of East Haven, CT while waiting in line to check out at Trader Joe’s.  She is a Graphic Designer that has created cards for Trader Joe’s. I wanted to give you an address to see more of her cards but it came up “unsecured” so I will let you explore it on your own. I have kept this card out where I could see it(in my attic studio) for at least 5 years.I kept saying to myself, someday you will create your own tea cup. Last Sunday afternoon, IT HAPPENED!!! I was inspired to CREATE! I have always liked  black “scratchy, scribbly,”outlines. They remind me of my “sketch stitching” by machine that I have been doing for years. But THIS time I have Terial Magic to help me. What? is that. Read on.

Any time I can create using my “Grunge” textiles by Moda, I will. I have pulled what I want to use, plus some muslin (for the cup). See the white specks on the Turquoise grunge? That is the residue from stiffing my fabrics with Terial Magic. Just brush those little bits off. I”m telling you, I can’t work  WITHOUT it. Check it out here if you don’t know about its many uses.
I am sketching my own cup on a piece of printer paper. I like that size because it is easier to sew on AND I get it completed faster.
I cut out some free form circles  and placed them on the paper cut-out of the cup just for a quick look-see, then replaced the paper with the muslin fabric. I LOVE the texture of even small pieces of Grunge. I believe Villa Rosa Designs carries every single color they make (sigh….75+…I need the cream colored one but muslin will do fine today). Villa Rosa sells on line.

Because all the pieces of fabric (including the background) were treated with Terial Magic

I have no need to glue or pin the pieces in place. There seems to be just enough friction to hold everything in place.

Now for the tools you need to create “free form stitching.” A brand new needle size 12 or 14 Universal is a must. Lower the feed dogs (pencil lead is pointing to them). Lowering the feed dogs puts YOU in control of the machine. A darning foot is put on (your machine may call it something else, look for machine embroidery foot). The foot on the right is a regular darning foot (I couldn’t see much with that one), so I bought a foot that is called an “open toed” darning foot. Ahh….. much, much better for me. For thread I used regular sewing thread, same thread top and bobbin. I was so excited to begin stitching that I forgot to do a step by step. Next pictures are the finished product. Enjoy.

I LOVED, LOVED, creating this little piece. There is no rhyme or reason for where I stitched first, well, now that I think about it, I stitched the polka dots first. They are tiny and I didn’t want them moving. I just held each one in place for a few seconds to get 7 or sew stitches in before letting go and stitching “round n round.”

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Whirrr….whirrr….and sew it goes.

Relax your shoulders, hold onto the piece lightly. Awww…now we’re enjoying the process.
Not one pin, not one drop of glue, not one basting stitch was used to create this piece!
It looks a bit messy (the black stitches) I suppose for those who are not into raw-edged machine applique’ but it is just the look I was going for. Try one yourself. And be freeee….
Yowzaa! I scored a few of these Iris beauties from my Mom’s garden. I think I have showed them to you each year. I have seen bunches of Iris in my time, but NONE quite like this.
My Georgia O’Keefe view.
Another “Georgia” view. I own a Google Pixel phone (my son’s suggestion) because of the camera.
The top petals are outlined! Do you see that?
I took these shots on a cloudy day at approximately 3:00p.m.

Here is my excellent helper for this shoot. Rex is a 9 year old rescue (along with his brother Rubix) barn cats.  Rex loves to bring lizards into the house (very much alive, don’t know how he does that part) so he can play with them.  Lizards are going to run up my legs I just know it, so my reaction is always the same: scream, find a tupperware to put over them (they are in such shock from being carried into the house), throw the cat outside, yell for my husband, and then shout directions from a different room that I want it put waaaaaay out into the neighbors field. My husband is so patient, “Love you honey.” You need to know that I grew up with 3 brothers (in the country) who loved seeing my reaction to different things. One scenerio, chasing me around our big yard with a dead rattlesnake on a big stick. Now you know why I act as I do. Ha, ha, ha. It’s amazing we all grew up without killing each other and get along really well now. I love my brothers. Sometimes though, growing up I didn’t like them very much.

Now get up to your happy place (wherever you stitch) and have FUN! That’s an order. Hugs, Heidi

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Upcycling Friday! Men’s Shirts & Working at the “Growing Grounds”

by Heidi Emmett

Hello everyone. Upcyling is one of my things as you all know. I have bins and bins of men’s shirts. I really enjoy designing and creating cool things from them. I save every bit of a shirt. To get this Friday post off to a funny start (WE NEED LAUGHTER!), please watch this 14 second video my friend sent me, on one way to upcycle a man’s shirt.

Check out my tunic. I purchased it from the “Upcycled Closet”, an  Etsy store.  I love all the details that she has put into it such as, little pockets here and there, the “men’s shirts” even unbutton to show off more “stuff” underneath. Such clever ideas. You must visit her store. “Upcycled Closet.”
More of a close up on some details of this “Upcyled Closet” tunic top.
O.K. holding a phone and trying to take a picture, well, it can be awkward. So what you see is my left hand in the right side  pocket.

All rightie then, I want to try this myself. Starting with the t-shirt (this one really and truly shrunk in length) and adding some men’s shirt and one linen skirt. I’m off to a good start I think.
A close-up of the t-shirt. There are lots of colors in it. Hmm….the printing seems a bit off, but no matter. It will be so BUSY when I’m done, no one will notice. But, this is as far as I have come on this project. I have had to detour out of sewing for awhile. A “growing” need has arisen (puns intended).
My brothers have owned a nursery for over 50 years (it started as a wholesale nursery from our parents property as a project for one brother (I have 3)for high school FFA)! In the spring they have always offered locally grown vegetable and herb starts. Over the years they have learned how long the season (for veggie starts) will last and plant accordingly. Because of what has been going on EVERYONE (it seems) wants to have a “Victory Garden” of sorts. They are coming as far as 50 miles away to get their starts. The nursery was considered “essential” right from the get go as they sold “food products.” How about 28 varieties of tomatoes (who knew ), 12 types of Peppers, and on and on and on. They have been so desperate for help because of the demand, they even acquiesced to asking their little sister to come and help.   FYI- Peppers, no matter the variety take f-o-r-ever to come up. (see above).  I have such a NEW appreciation to what goes into the growing of food stuffs. Read on.
We are down to the last of the last of the “pots” to fill. Waiting, waiting, for a new shipment of these 4″ pots. They come from Illinois (slowed down because of SNOW, what!!). The soil is very specialized and comes from ———(shhh…can’t tell you where ’cause it’s a secret) very far away because it has a specialized peat moss mixed in to help seeds germinate faster, and seedlings grow better.  There is the coolest machine (BIG, very BIG) on the property that takes three people to run. It is used to fill all these pots with soil.
These are specialized “flats” that have seeds dropped into them. All these flats, and the pots, that have been seeded, are all placed by hand.
A close up view of one flat of Genovese basil. These germinated in less than a week.
When the basil is big enough they are popped out of the first flat (a micro sized ice cube tray of sorts and transferred to the four inch pot and labeled. Again it’s all done by hand. DesignsbyHeidi helps at her brother’s nursery. I LOVE IT! Truly. I’m helping in another way besides making masks. A nice change.
All the propagation is done outside of the greenhouse (too warm to be in all day). Once that’s done, they are moved into greenhouses like the one above. It is a really carefully planned process and when one thing doesn’t happen (like the run on seeds from the distributors,suddenly, everyone wants them) it can upset this “well oiled” process.  Oh, see the little blue and yellow squares hanging a few feet above the plants? Those are very sticky to catch teeny, tiny, mites that can come in when a door is kept open too long. I know this as I got my hair caught in several (I kept forgetting they were there), ick, ick and ouch!

At the far end of the greenhouse is the giant sized swamp cooler. Water constantly dribbles down from the top of the black metal mesh units while equally giant fans are blowing into the greenhouse (from the outside) air through the black meshy type metal.  They can regulate the air to be cooler at one end (so certain plants basically stop growing), as is the case for the pumpkins above.
Take a walk outside a greenhouse and you can really tell we live in California. Eschultzia Californica, California Poppy. Did you know they can bloom twice? Out in the wild it’s only once, in April or May. But at home, with extra water, you can get a fall bloom too.
California poppies make me so happy to look at. Especially a field of them.

The color! Such a brilliant color. I live in Gold Country, and CA poppies are our state flower. Did you know that the largest gold producing mine in the state of CA is only 1/2 mile from my home here in Grass Valley? Another interesting story for another time. Thank you so much for stopping by.  I hope you can have some “dirt therapy” time this weekend planting and tending your own garden.Hugs,  Heidi

Bling It On!

by Heidi Emmett 

I don’t mean bling in the “shiny, fancy,” fabrics way.  I mean it’s TIME to dress “UP” not dress “down.” Get out of your sweats and put on something that you love so much but have been saving it for “good.” Don’t we all have what we call “everyday” clothes and “good” clothes? That’s how I grew up and I let the trend continue. Well guess what?

EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY!!  So let’s start dressing accordingly!

Oh, Happy Day! I’m wearing some “good clothes” while washing windows inside ( I only wash one room at a time, as I am easily bored).  And I wear an apron too! Ha, ha.
If I had just brushed my hair a little better in the back. Oops, now I really drew attention to it. This is Marcia Derse’s very first panel. It was printed when she was with Troy Textiles (it’s at least 6 years old).
This close up of my “Marcia Derse” inspired Terrific Tabard(my “Art to Wear” sewing pattern) shows that I love adding black edging fabric strips all the way around the vest on the outside edges for a slimming look.
I do a lot of raw edge applique’ (the zig zag stitches) and stitching in general. I like to change colors of thread too for added interest.

It’s easy to add stitching to a fabric “panel” piece. There are no seams to sew over or slow you down. And you still get a great quilted affect. There is a very thin batting in this vest.

Yes, this vest is the Tree of Life version of my Terrific Tabard using a Marcia Derse printed panel. It’s part panel and some collage work. All raw edge.
I did it again. Went to my closet and found some pieces I’ve never worn together and have only kept them for “good.”  I like what I put together and the “eye popping” pink vest showcases my polymer necklace.
How about my boots by “Mucks”  I love, love, LOVE them. And comfy too. They are my go to rain and snow boots.
I went to my jewelry “board” ( I bought a corkboard and added push pins. Perfect way to display necklaces and pins/brooches) and found this polymer necklace. I made it at least 3 years ago.  I have never worn it! Whaaat?? I took a fabulous polymer class from Sandra Bruce (of Material Matrix fame, check her out here).  She said I could copy her necklace. So, after the class, I took a bunch of pictures of her necklace and over a week I created my version. I was SO HAPPY wearing this. Why did I wait so long? I’m wearing it again this weekend. I have just decided I want to do more Polymer this weekend too. It is a very soothing art form in my opinion.
Aww….that’s a GOOD Boy! Riley is REALLY coming along. It is 13 weeks today since we adopted him. We think he’s FINALLY feeling like he’s part of the family now.
Here’s the mask pattern I have been using. A huge thank you to “Sinderelamom.” Don’t know her as this pattern was first sent to me by a friend.  The 12.5 line is in centimeters. It should measure 5.” I whacked off the short end to make it fit. Send me an email and I’ll send you this picture so you can print it up.     hmemmett@gmail.com

A mask ready to sew together. Two pieces of Batik for the front, 2 for the lining, and 2 pieces of 100% cotton batting for the interlining. My elastic is a headband, that is cut into 2, 7″ pieces.
Yes, I’m saving my batik scraps for another project that I have in mind.
A few of the many masks I’ve made. I’ve lost count, but it is at least 20.
O.K. remember I said it’s hard for me to throw anything/or very much away? This is a picture of all the thread bits from those masks. And the next picture shows you what I did with them.

A THREAD BEAD! What a hoot, all the thread so fluffy and a fairly big blob of it, comes down, and down to 3/4″     I think it’s cool.  Oh what we can do with extra time on our hands.
A bag is starting to fill up with the scraps from the batting. These scraps are headed to a lady in my quilt guild who makes dog beds for dogs at the local shelters. How cool is that?
There is beauty everywhere if we just look. In this case, my English Laurel, and I had to look up (the last snow we had smashed the branches down enough to be surprised by this).
Each flowerette is so perfect.

We will, together, believe and have faith to weather this surreal situation. God bless. Hugs, Heidi

What’s the First Thing You Want to Create in 2020?

by HEIDI EMMETT

Now we can get down to the business of all things creative.  All the get- togethers and parties are over. Decorations all put away (nope, not at my house. I LOVE Christmas). The “creative” I plan to do for January is FIBER JEWELRY! It’s easy to get started. Check out the pieces below. They will help you plan something fun.

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What an interesting use of fiber, feathers, findings and beads.
This is a felted scarf but I can see it as a very unusual necklace too.
I’m thinking we all might have on hand what would be needed for this cool necklace. An old necklace, release the chain in the middle and attach it to the backs of an arrangement of different sized fiber flowers and trim pieces. I could work on one of these right now!

I could not get this picture any bigger, but they look like teardrop shapes of silk,stuffed and then attached to a necklace chain. Use your favorite silk scraps or ties.
What a simple but “catch your eye” fun necklace. They are teeny tiny stuffed pillows. Looks like they were embroidered first with running stitches. Add colorful beads on cord Take the cord through each “pillow”, add a bead, and continue taking the cord through another pillow on the diagonal.
THIS is so interesting! And the use of African Fabrics make it truly unique. I’m not sure of the technique but I thinking folded long pieces that are then folded over a nylon cord. Very successful.
Do you like to embroider or have a special piece already? This is the piece for you to create.
I know this isn’t a piece of jewelry, but a dream catcher. Well now, I want to make the feathers and use them to form a necklace. Use your favorite super special yarn for this.
Now THIS is truly a STATEMENT piece. I don’t need to say anymore than that!
Do you have a favorite smallish scarf? Make a fiber necklace to go with the scarf. What a great pairing of the two.
And one more. Ohhh, the possibilities!
This piece is so yummy in many ways. I like the fabric choices for the tubular waterfall , the metal piece that is used for the front. And the way all the tubes attach at the top. So unique.

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I like to say, “15 minutes a day will get you on your way! with any new creative project. ” So pick one of these or use another that you had in mind. I would love to see what you create! Send me a picture of a finished piece of fiber jewelry  by January 31st 2020 and I will post it AND send you a free pattern of your choice from my collection! Happy New Year Hugs, Heidi

 

Another This and That Friday! Check THIS out!

by HEIDI EMMETT

I had a wonderful time at the Christmas Tea that was held at my church last Saturday. I have some pictures of tablescapes that might give you ideas for a  luncheon of your own.

Check this out! Row after Row of plates. All items perfectly positioned exactly the same way on each plate.
I wanted you to have a peak at how 320 (I said 340 last week) luncheon plates are created.
Nine different things will end up on this plate. So far there is (room temp. items), Sundried Tomato skewered marinated Mozzarella, Rowdy root vegetable salad, Cheery Chai Spice scone, and colorful Cranberry pistachio fudge. FIVE more items will be added. Luscious Lemon curd, and  devonshire cream, all handmade, accompany this group of  “drop dead delicious” food.
No wonder tickets sell out in no time. Is it the food or the “hunky” waiters? Hmm……
Now for a few of the tables.  This one is all silver and white. So sparkly and elegant. The center piece is a light fixture!! Lynda put battery powered lights inside and voila! Gorgeous.
Love the plaid centerpiece undercovering with fur trim. “Elegant woodsy” is this theme. Each person has their own salt and pepper shakers too. The wood chargers are perfect.
My table  has glittery wired ribbon running through each table setting( lay the ribbon across the table 5 times x 2 = 10 place settings)  and for napkin rings more ribbon tied on to the napkin. The centerpiece is surrounded by nativity sets that I have collected over the years. Nothing beats real candlelight. The take home gifts (every table has them) are the chalk painted ornament that says, “Unwrapped.” One of the table hostesses hand lettered all 320 of them. She is the one with the swollen hand! They are a lovely finishing touch.
The center piece on this table is so unique. I love him.
What a festive table and I like the unmatched tea cups. A great way to use the collection that 90% of us have.
So simple and sweet, “Don’t cha Nome!” What a great tablecloth color and there are more of those unmatched tea cups.
What a stunner of a table! Super elegant with the fresh flowers, white ceramic nativity set and the deep spruce colored tablecloth really makes the silverwear and plates pop.

Simply LOVELY! Placing the napkin in the waterglass and the menu under the fork and spoon is such a clever idea. I like the glittery gold fabric in the middle with its’ elegant folds.
Icy blue and white with an amazing hand crocheted center cloth. And check out the napkins wrapped around a votive.  What a lovely touch.

I learned this trick while setting our tables. Lynda (she had the crystal light fixture centerpiece and STUNNING silverwear) taught me about cleaning tarnished silver. I came home (thinking it will never work, it can’t work, it’s too easy) and pulled out some silver ornaments that I would not use on the Christmas tree because, well, you can see, practically black.
Line a pan  with aluminum foil (doesn’t matter which brand). Toss in some baking soda. I used about a 1/4 cup. Boil some water and fill the pan to cover whatever is going into the pan.
Do you see the ornament at the bottom of the pan? I placed it there with a pair of tongs. I’m telling you it was MAGIC! I had let it go into the pan and INSTANTLY off came the tarnish in tiny little slivers. No scrubbing or rubbing needed.
It is so happy to be back on the tree all shiny and silvery!
This one has bits of tarnish still in some of the nooks and crannies. I like that as I think it gives some dimension to the piece. Never do this method on silver with gold accents. The gold will turn black and NEVER look the same.
Isn’t “little Miss Snow” a cutie? I’ve seen her each year for years when we have Christmas Bunco at Fay’s house. I really, really, want to copy her. Maybe this will be the year!
Is there any one else out there like me? I see many things that I like and say to myself, “I can make that!” And then life goes on and I forget about it. Until the next season and there it is staring at me again and the cycle repeats. Ha, ha. I think I shall make a real effort to BREAK that cycle! I’ll keep you posted.
I HAD to show you this! Think back to 2006, A Hallmark Christmas movie called, “The Christmas Card.” Ed Asner was in it. It was filmed here in Nevada City, CA. That’s only about 3 miles from where I live.  Remember the cafe where Faith (the heroine who sent Christmas cards to people in the military) picked up the famous Curly fries?
I have wanted to visit the “Christmas Card” cafe FOREVER! and only a decade plus years later I did! It is now owned by a French couple and they serve AMAZING French food. Yes, two views of my Banana/chocolate crepe with a real French cup of Espresso. Divine!
There, right there by those counter stools, Faith stood and picked up her Curly fries. Ha, ha. And Cody was right there because of the mix up. Awww….yes, I have to watch the movie every year, just because. That is Genevieve, one of the owners behind the counter. I love her French clothes and of course, her accent.
The sweet mural behind the tables shows Broad Street in Nevada City. One of the  fun facts about that movie is that it was filmed in April and it snowed every other day for almost two weeks. And it was always just the right amount for filming. I could be wrong but I think it was one of the first Hallmark Christmas movies that didn’t need white batting for snow banks. Ha, ha. Thank you so much for stopping by. I appreciate you all so much. Merry, Merry, Christmas! And remember, Jesus IS the reason for the season. Hugs, Heidi

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know, I’m early. But this post includes next Friday too. I’m hosting 26 this year in my house (it will be cozy, but lots of fun). We have so much to be Thankful for.

I had a great time at our SWAG (Sierra Wearable Art Group)meeting this past Wednesday.It was held at a members home as the Library was closed because we were having another  power shut off due to high winds. 7:00a.m. shutoff changed to 11:00a.m. Canceled at 1:00p.m. Sigh….My husband was sad (we just got a generator and he had it all ready to go!). Sigh…again.  Let’s forget all that power shut off stuff and I’ll show you some cool things!

Sunrise, November 20, 2019. From my back deck.
Promises to be a beautiful Fall day.
I love the reflection in the table top.
There’s a rain gauge in the lower right area. It has been waiting, waiting, waiting….not sure when.
Meet Joan and her festive jacket.
A combination of piecing, needle turned applique’, and raw edged applique’.
Lori said she knew her “snowflake” wasn’t “fiber” oriented but she just had to show it. I’m so glad she did. Look closely. She made it out of white plastic hangers, zip ties, and added white lights.  I need some of these hanging in trees outside. Speaking of snowflakes. I just heard the weather report for next Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. Snow level down to 2,000ft. What!? We are at 3,000ft. 26 people coming. Excuse me while I go have a quiet cry.
O.K., I’m back. Deep breathing. Check out Carolyn’s jacket. I really like her asymmetrical pieces that she cut and stitched on before she made buttonholes.
Trish worked on a challenge project for January (she’s early). Using bits of old laces, doilies, linen tablecloths, etc.  Trish put them into a fabulous weekender/carpet bag using pieces from denim jeans. What a wonderful upcycling project.
The inside features her own indigo dyed fabric. Way to go!
These AMAZING tennis shoes were created by Kathy! Love these! Want these! Must have these!
Kathy used some of my favorite Kaffe Fassett fabrics. What a great way to use some scraps.
Work on a new pair of tennies, whatever brand you want, your choice. This look is so HOT right now!
Pattern is by Lenore Crawford and purchased via Lenore’s Etsy shop.
Was given some Meyer Lemons. What a pretty picture they make. And yummy too.
Speaking of tennis shoes, I thought I’d bring back this picture. I discovered that the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (infused with Dawn) is PERFECT to clean up the white edges near the soles of tennis shoes. It works like a charm.
This is how my head feels after reading a book or magazine on creative stuff or being on Pinterest .  Take time out this weekend for something creative! It will make you happy. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi

How my Pattern, “Off The Grid Came to Be.”

5 power shutoffs,because of Wildfire danger, in under 5 weeks. 2 in one week. Learning to cope, bought a generator. WE DO HAVE OUR HOME! So, gratitude, gratitude. Thank you Lord for your watchcare over us. We did evacuate last Sunday afternoon. We live in the Grass Valley, CA area. It wasn’t mandatory, but a fire was started (someone who is homeless) and in 45 mile an hour gusts we wanted to get out. We have “Go” bags, the whole bit. My 88 yr. young mother lives on our property in her little Granny house. Went to get her and her “Go” bag and sigh….she had put everything back (when the rains started last Nov.) SIGH…….Our “Go” time ended up being 20 minutes (we’re working on getting that time waaay down). Thank God it turned out to be a practice run… but I tell you all this because I don’t care where you live, GET A GO BAG together, escape routes, and designated ways to be in contact. Your life could depend on it! All right, enough of the somber stuff. I am so backlogged with “stuff” for my business that I pulled a post out of the archives.

Once upon a time, I took the Urban Ombre’s quilt class from Christine. It was great fun. It was the first time I had seen the Diawabo ombre’ from E.E. Schneck in grey or is it gray?Throughout the class I kept thinking, all these fabrics together would make the coolest vest. But what design? So, I took my blocks, along with everyone’s scraps (I ASKED them first), and put them on my design board and began to think.

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Later, Christine said she was doing a lecture at the E.E. Schenck Trends Show (a show for shop owners  in Porland, OR). Since Schenck sells the grey background fabric Christine was showing her quilt and then she said, hey, that vest idea you had, that would be great, I’ll take that too, so we can get your name out there. O.K., that sounds good, when is it? 

In a month. Whaaaaattt?! I have done NOTHING! The little pieces were falling off the design board, or covered by other projects that were creeping in.

An hour later, I stood at my ironing board, fabrics spread out and I said a prayer. I had a nice chat with God and said, Help!! I walked over to my little garment rack of purchased pieces (whether from a “Real” store or the thrift shop)all for ideas for future project. I pulled out a super short jacket that had bad fabric and design, but the collar!! and while that jacket had a skinny front band, I liked how it connected to the collar.  

I whipped out my sketch pad and started with rectangles. I knew I wanted a long, lean, look to this vest pattern. The rectangles kept coming to mind. 

I also wanted to showcase the interesting fabrics on the front, so I made the front panels really wide . Those pieces, the rectangle  shaped log cabin blocks, and the “sticks” (remember those pieces people discarded?), again they are all rectangle shapes.  

It all came together so smoothly (remember that prayer at the ironing board?). I was sewing up a storm and it was time to add the front panel pieces. WAIT A MINUTE!! They are too short at the bottom, no, no, NO! (Oh, dear, I just told the world that I made a major measuring mistake). And NO TIME to make new front panel pieces. 

Upon further trying it on, looking, thinking, I came to the conclusion that I LIKED it that way! Who knew? I like it being “off” at the bottom edges (hint, hint, Off the Grid).  You will be happy to know that yes, I finished it in time for Christine to take up to the Portland show. She said it was a big hit. Yea….

I use Terial Magic on the strips used for the blocks and sticks. I love how this product keeps things from fraying while I”m raw edge stitching them down.

It’s so fun to use Marcia Derse prints, and other ombre’ fabrics. The blocks have their edges turned under and are edge stitched to the gray ombre’ background fabric. 

I use glue (the bottle in the picture is basting glue), but I also use basic school glue (like Elmer’s). You can see the subtle change in the background fabric. I really enjoy turning it this way and that, darker portions verses lighter sections. It’ what YOU like. That’s why I call for 3 yds. for the background (room to play). 

Notice please that I use a zig zag stitch (rectangles again), and it also encases the raw edge of the fabric. 

And I do, what I call, “Shadow quilting.” They are always done in a rectangle shape . I like the look and it adds more quilting to the piece. 

I do any all over quilting in gentle curves because it’s easier on the eyes (if they were straight it’s too hard to sew perfectly straight) and adds movement. 

Look at the SUPER COOL necklace my 93 year young friend, Lila Sugg made for me (she is a MASTER sewist). It is so perfect with my vest (a secret, shhh…the gorgeous chunks of turquoise are made from potatoes).  Google that one, people! 

And listen to this, E.E.Schenck now carries my patterns and my book! And I have been asked to come to the next Trends Show and present a trunk show on my Art to Wear patterns and book. Sharon, the buyer, said that “Art to Wear” is coming back in a big way in the quilting world and I’ll be right there!  Hugs, Heidi

Skirt-Upcycling! By HEIDI EMMETT

 

by Heidi Emmett:

Upcycling is SO FUN!! If you have been hesitant to get on board with it, today I’m going to show you a great project you could start with. First we need some inspiration.

Found this on Pinterest. I LOVE the way a beautiful dressy lace was paired with denim.

For me, Going to the Thrift shop is all about the fabric. I often buy a garment JUST for the fabric. This silk printed fabric is so great next to the denim in this skirt. Notice the top stitching on the denim and how it brings the fabric and denim together.

I like how this is a wrap skirt with interesting features on the front of the skirt.

THIS IS THE ONE! My skirt is so small that opening it up and adding pieces here and there like this skirt will make mine a perfect wrap skirt.

My thrifted skirt was so small but I loved the embroidery and the ragged hem, (the embroidery is the reason I purchased it, I new it would NEVER fit me as is.

The embroidery is machine done, but great colors and design.
O.K., snip, snip, snip! I cut it open all the way at the side seam opposite the embroidery.
Don’t forget to check out my cool slip on canvas tennis shoes. OF COURSE they are leopard. Remember, I said that Leopard is hot, HOT this season (in my humble opinion, Leopard anything is hot in any season).These are by Blowfish.  And so comfy almost right away.
I needed some other pieces to add on. Found this lovely woven piece in my stash. I decided to add a piece of fleece (try The Warm Company, made in the USA)  and a batik to the back of this woven.  And when I had to fish a spool of thread out of my trash bag, I found this perfectly colored piece of wool yarn.
I quilted my fabric “sandwich” together with different colored threads in an up and back motion that would show off the pattern of the fabric.
Arranging “stuff” to see if I can use some, all, or none. This is the fun part. Not sure about what you might pick out. “Test” them out as I did, by placing everything on the background of the starting skirt. Take a few pictures and look at your items objectively, through a camera lens.
Oh yes, I want this yarn and felt it down with my machine felter (mine is a Husky Star by Huskavarna). Check my past posts on “Fun Felting” to learn more.
It’s perfect.
The back side of this felted yarn is  pretty too.

It’s getting close to being finished. Think about which side you will add your quilted fabric piece to. How wide does it really need to be,and  how much of a wrap do you want? Maybe you will want to add more pieces than just the one as I did? All questions that will need answering and remember, it’s never wrong. Add something to it or cut it off and start again. I LOVE upcycling.
Check out my off-centered (ON PURPOSE, to reduce bulk, and I like how it looks) upcycled skirt. It is truly one-of-a-kind, just the way my clothing needs to be.
Maybe, I might add something else to this skirt. But right now it’s perfect as is.
Isn’t this fun! I am pairing this skirt with a red turtleneck, dark gray leggings, and my cool leopard tennies.

Upcycling is so freeing. As I said, you can do nothing wrong. I teach the upcycling portion of my workshop at the Artistic Alchemy retreat, on the first day. It’s a great warming up exercise to get your brain to start thinking outside the box and get you ready to work on one of my “ART TO WEAR” patterns later in the week. Please visit my Etsy store: DesignsbyHeidiEmmett/sewing patterns, to get an idea of the sewing patterns I sell. Next years Artistic Alchemy Retreat is Sept. 7-11th. It’s not too early to be thinking about it. All the information for our 2020 retreat comes out the beginning of February.

Fall at Pope Beach at South Shore Lake Tahoe, Oct. 2017. Notice how faaaarrrr out you can see the beach. It was the height of our drought. This year, same color in the trees, but the water comes all the way up now, within a foot or two of the railing.
An Aspen tree at waters’ edge of Zephyr Point Conference Center.
A storm is moving in to Zephyr Point in October. Foaming spray and big white caps.
Color trees are everywhere on the grounds of Zephyr Point. It is a great place to visit any time of the year (they do keep all roads on the grounds plowed when it snows), but fall is my favorite.

Thanks for stopping by and maybe check out your favorite Thrift shop this week (I love thrifting because your money goes to so many different great causes) and you find FABULOUS STUFF!! It’s a win, win!

I leave you with a quote: Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision. Hugs, Heidi

P.S. Follow me – DesignsbyHeidiEmmett on Pinterest and Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Power Means, no Internet, Landline phone, Cellphone, t.v., etc. Accckk….!

Hello everyone,

Yes, I was one of the 800,000 P.G. & E. (Pacific Gas and Electric) customers to get power cut off because of high winds and fire danger.

All the above is back up and running.  I am so far behind  that I am dropping in some cool pictures from Pinterest instead of a normal post. Enjoy!

Until next Friday then…… Hugs, Heidi

Driving into downtown Nevada City, California on Monday, Oct. 7th, 2019, 5:00p.m.

Driving over one of the (3) bridges in Downtown Downieville, CA, 12:30p.m.,10/7/19. Beautiful day for a drive.

Sparky Top on Parade! It’s Spring!

They say that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. In my case it’s true. Sew, I took my mannequin over to “the other side of the fence” (the neighbors Christmas tree farm) and yes, soft, spring green grass. I’m taking some pictures and bask in this glorious sunshine while doing it!

A brief advertisement. My sewing patterns are available:

  1. Right from me! Email me via: hmemmett@gmail.com   A hard copy will be sent to you with payment to Paypal or a check to me. Look at all my patterns here on the blog to see what you want.  $15.00 each (this includes tax) plus shipping. Order 3 or more from me, and the shipping is free.
  2. I have an Etsy shop: DesignsbyHeidiEmmett  These patterns are all hard copies too. Go there also to view all the patterns. Any questions about any of them email me at the above address.
  3. Bluprint (formerly Craftsy.com) carries only 2 of my patterns, in PDF(digital) format.
  4. I have new ideas for the look of my Blog site and a new platform for PDF/Digital patterns. More about those things in the coming weeks. Below, are the front and back of Sparky Top, my latest “Art to Wear” sewing pattern. You need to make one. Great for beginners and advanced alike. Very little fitting is required.

I made this Sparky Top last summer for a casual outdoor wedding. The colors/prints from Kaffe Fassett fabric were keyed off of the hand painted silk center back piece.And the front piece, normally one fabric, well…I ran out and improvised. I like what I did. You can too.

The center back piece, hand painted silk chiffon, was cut from a dress.

The back piece (near the shoulders), well, I was short on that fabric (I was working with scraps actually), so I pieced  it together and added appliques cut from the side panel fabric.
I stitched cut out appliques over the seam. Use Terial Magic first.  It’s a fantastic spray that stiffens fabric just enough to easily stitch down.

Isn’t the hand painted silk chiffon in the center back gorgeous? I love how it floats in the breeze and the Kaffe Fassett  pieces are perfect with the silk to create a most lovely Sparky Top. Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com  tells you how to purchase this sewing pattern.

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Follow me at all these places. I have so much fun posting at these places. Join in by  going to one of these places, signing up and typing in  “Designs by Heidi Emmett.”

Quilting cottons are a great weight for Sparky Top.

There is a white long camisole under the front portion. The front piece is a voile that with the spirals of fabric strips stitched down. From Joann’s. I think the look is perfect for this top.

This is one of the first Sparky Top’s that I made. It is also on the back cover of pattern.
I really like the combination of the Kaffe Fassett cottons and a little sparkle of the front panel and the back panel .

On the back piece, I ran out of fabric so I did the trick I’ve come to use many times, add some raw edge appliques. I tend to use circle shapes as they are more of a bias cut all the way around and fray less.
The subtle colors, the small sequins, and the sheerness of this JoAnn’s fabric is great for my Sparky Top.
This Sparky Top makes use of Marci Tilton’s fabrics. This group was a “combo pack.”
Sparky Top is a perfect pattern for knits. This combo pack (3 yards, 1 yard each of 3 prints)is a knit that is 100% rayon. So soft and it drapes beautifully.
I used another combo set of knits, 100% rayon in this Sparky Top. BUT WAIT!! It has long sleeves. What? That’s not in the original pattern! Go to my home page of this Blog and look at the post under “Sparky Top” 9/28/18, titled,” Sparky Top gets ready for cooler days.”

This IS the perfect top for cooler days and I have a beautiful black soft woolen shawl to go with if I need more warmth. Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com

Job well done! And oh, the sunshine felt good too.

You know how I love flowers. On the way back to my house, I found some. I have Helleborus / also known as “Lenten Rose.”  Overnight, they started blooming. Stunning, shapes, colors, and textures. Helliborus/ Lenten Rose. Small and delicate looking, they are tough, some of the first flowers of Spring, they often have snow on them and just keep on blooming.

Another Lenten Rose just opening up. Behind, one closed up tight.

There are many varieties and colors of Helliborus available.
The only thing I don’t like about Lenten Roses is that they droop over. You cannot see their gorgeousness unless you turn them up yourself. Sad but true. Thank you for stopping by and seeing what I’m up to.                    I just read this, “You can never have too much happy.” Think on that one awhile. And go have some “happy” with your next creative project. Hugs, Heidi