Thursday, May 17, 2012

The third Wednesday....

Yesterday was one of my favorite get togethers....

This month's selection was

I enjoyed this book.
However, I had to have a
different mind set
while I read this.  

It is very dark humor and in
our book club many disliked it and
were offended by it.  

I knew it would be an odd read when 
I started so I was ready!

I thought it was funny (in an odd way) 
and had many hidden meanings of life.
How different people act in poverty and 
still have so much pride.

I would recommend this book but as I 
said be prepared for a different type of read.

Have you read it?
What did you think?

You know what they say....

So I am off to grab a cup of 
coffee and finish reading
Anna Karenina!
Awesome book!

Happy Reading!
 Happy Syttende Mai!
(Norwegian Constitution Day)


The books that help you the most
are those which make you think the most.
Theodore Parker

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Spinning Wheel -- Part Five

Here we go -- 
the last of my spinning wheels.
This is a fun wheel.

Where is it you ask? 

Well right inside....

This is called the Joy wheel.
It is a portable wheel that comes with a
back pack to carry it in.

I take this with me when we travel,
if I have a class outside of my studio or
to any event that I would need to bring a wheel!

I used this when I was an Artist-In-Resident for
the North Dakota Arts Council (as story for another day....).  
I would take it with me to the schools where I taught....
SO easy to pack up!  And the case is heavy
duty so it protects the wheel.

Notice it has the double treadles....

It does a great job with the yarns and 
gives me "joy" when I use it....
get it....ha ha!

No, really it is a fun wheel!

That is it my friends!  
You have now seen 
all five of my spinning wheels.

I went to the Fiber Festival
last weekend.  I saw many things I thought
I couldn't live without but my 
pocket book said to take it easy....
so decided on these
skeins of yarn.  

This is alpaca from my
favorite vendor.
They have dyed it a pretty blue.

This yarn just looked like fun!
It has gold sparkles throughout.
The colors are kind of Christmas like....
I know it says socks but I am making a scarf.

And I couldn't resist this....
it is a angora/wool blend and
it is SO soft!  

Let the fun begin!
I truly enjoy these festivals!

Happy Creating, my friends!


The beginning is the most important part of the work.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fun with yarn....

To start off I would like
to congratulate our granddaughter,
Bailey, on doing such an awesome
job at the Hershey's track meet.
She took 1st place in the 
200 and 400 relay,
3rd place in the 100 and 
2nd place in the soft ball throw.

Next she will attend the State track
meet in Devils Lake, ND in June.

Way to go, Bailey!
We are so proud of you!
Mother's Day weekend is always special to me....

Not only because I am a mother 
but every year my sweet husband 
takes me to Lake Elmo, MN to the 

I ALWAYS find lots of cool fiber and yarns.  
They have bluegrass musicians playing in the buildings.  
Many vendors....lots of spinning and knitting going on....
sheep shearing.....and barns with sheep and alpacas.  
It is a great time each year....

So this Saturday this is where I get to go! 
 I have all my pennies saved 
and I am READY!  ha ha!

I have a favorite vendor I buy 
something from each year.  
They raise alpacas and have 
spun yarn ready and fiber to spin.  
Last year I purchased two skeins.  
One black and one gray and black.  

I never know what I am going
 to make when I buy yarns.  
If I am attracted to them 
I buy them because 
I know I will come up with something....  
  I make sure there is plenty of yardage.  
Each of these skeins were 
600 yards so I knew I could 
make almost anything I would want.

This is what I started with....

Using one of my favorite patterns....
the Entrelec.....
a hat.

I don't wear hats but I love to make them.  

Then I wanted to try a diagonal scarf 
and I thought they would go well together.....
The scarf is folded in half here,   
I make my scarves 60" long.

I  had plenty of yarn left and thought 
I would add something a little different. 
 These are fingerless mittens.  
Always easier to wear in the spring 
and fall and this leaves your fingers free to knit 
if you are in the car or sitting outside
or if you are shopping you don't have 
to keep taking your mittens off.  

Then I thought to make it even more convenient  
I would add pockets to the top 
to keep some cash or credit cards in --
 then I wouldn't have to carry a purse!
I made an opening while knitting the 
mittens and then added the inside 
pocket that goes almost to 
the top of the mitten.   

I liked how they turned out!

So that is what I did with the yarn from last year!

And believe it or not I still have enough
 yarn left to make another pair of mittens 
or a scarf!

On Mother's Day 
it brings back memories of my mother.

She passed away on March 25, 1994.
I can't believe it has been 18 years already.
I miss her so much.  
If I could have just one more day with her....
Going down memory lane here....

I know she is still watching over me....
Love and miss you, mom....

Have a fun weekend!

Happy Knitting!


Every production of an artist should be the
expression of an adventure of his soul.
W. Somerset Maugham

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spinning Wheel -- Part Four

First thing....
I want to congratulate our grandson,
Trevor, who graduated from 
Kindergarten last night!

We are SO proud of him!
Way to go, Trevor!

Now for the spinning wheel....
only one more after this....

This in another of my "working" wheels....

In fact this is the one I use the most.

The name of this wheel is the 
and is a double drive....

What that means is there are two foot pedals to use.  
I really like this.  
I prefer to spin barefoot....
sometimes I wear socks....
hey, we all do what we have to do....ha ha!

This is an upright wheel and isn't too big.  

No story with this one either.  
However, I can tell you I have had 
many happy times spinning
LOTS of yarn on this wheel....

Happy Spinning, my friends!


What art offers is space -- 
a certain breathing room for the spirit.
John Updik


Just for fun
I thought I would add a 
favorite recipe of mine....

Lemon Bars 

Three ingredients -- 

Mix the angel food cake mix 
with the lemon pie filling and
pour into a greased cake pan.

Bake at 325 for 25 minutes.
(or until done)


Top with Cream Cheese frosting.
(you can add a squirt of lemon juice to the frosting if you would like)


(I really do have to keep reminding myself to simplify....ha ha)

Easy peasy!


Thursday, May 3, 2012


I would like to start this out by saying  
to our son,

Enjoy your day!

As you have probably guessed....
I like to work with my hands....

Knitting, spinning, drawing, whittling and

I do try to piece and quilt on the 
machine by some days I swear I 
must be allergic to the machine....
it just doesn't work right!

I never seem to do as good of job in getting
things lined up as they should be....

When I hand piece or hand quilt I seem to 
be in more control....
so control is the issue, huh?
I knew it had to be something!
ha ha!

Any way this is a wall hanging I made
about 14 years ago.
Another one that survived the many moves.
I made this on weekends when we 
purchased an 1920 house (our second home)
in a village, 
yes I said village,
 in northern North Dakota.  
That is a story for another day.

Every weekend that summer Mike and I 
would take off on the 3 1/2 hour drive on 
Friday after work and stay 
until Sunday evening.  
Riding in the car is boring, so 
I decided to make a wall hanging.  
(couldn't use the machine in the car, right?)
This quilt was made as I rode in the car.

  I chose to do a summer scene done in appliqué.
For those of you who don't know what that is....
it is taking pieces of fabric and
 hand sewing them on the main fabric.  
I like to think of it as painting with fabric.

This is my traveling summer wall hanging....

It was fun to pick out the fabrics, 
cut out the pieces and then decide 
where I wanted to put them and
then sew it on.
There are flowers, birds, a bunny, bees, 
dragonfly, butterfly and even a caterpillar!
It took quite awhile to make but
it is kind of like a long book....
you just get to enjoy it longer!  

I did a blanket stitch around each of the pieces and
when I was finished I did diagonal quilting on the piece.

Every time I look at this I smile.  
I brings back so many happy memories....
and that is what it should be all about....

Happy Quilting, my friends!


In art, the hand can never excute anything
higher than the heart can imagine.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Spinning Wheel -- Part Three

Happy May Day!

Do any of you remember
May Day baskets?
I don't think many do that any more....
Oh the memories....ha ha!

Loving fiber art as much as I do,
it seemed only fitting that 
I collect sheep.  
Which I did for quite sometime.
Not so much any more....

This little sheep is one of the survivors
that stayed on board in the studio.
I did not make this one....
I purchased it from a talented
artist at an art festival.
Isn't she cute?
My husband thinks she is weird looking....
I think she is beautiful!
As we all have our very own beauty....

The last three of my spinning wheels 
I will be showing you
are what I call my "working" wheels.  
They are Ashford wheels and 
I enjoy spinning on each of them for different reasons.

This one is the "Elizabeth".

 I call her my "Cadillac" of wheels.
It is soooo smooth in it's rhythm 
and is very relaxing 
(I seem to say that a lot) 
to spin on.

No story with this....
There are many wheels out there to purchase.  
I found the Ashford brand and loved it.  
I was a Ashford dealer a few years ago 
when I had a working studio.  
I would sell the wheels and give lessons 
to each that purchased one.  It was fun!

Teaching is one of my favorite things to do.
People tell me I should sell my things but 
I think that would take all the fun out of it....

I just tell them -- 
I won't sell my items....
but I will teach you how to make your own.
I think that is more fun for both of us!

Happy Spinning, my friends!


The purpose of art is washing the dust of
daily life off our souls.
Pablo Picasso

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Teddy Bear....

I love teddy bears....

I have made many bears over 
my life time and made clothes 
for them and displayed them in my home.
Where are they now?
Not sure....
I am certain they are making
someone happy somewhere.

We have moved many times and each time 
I seem to down size more and more.  
I guess I just don't like packing....ha ha!

My favorite word....
(this is hanging in my studio so I don't forget....)

I have kept some of my art....
I don't know why I keep what I keep....
maybe they are my favorite or 
maybe it's just my mood at that time.

Today I am going to share one of my favorite bears.

I made this little panda bear a few years ago....

Wave to everyone, Mr. Pandy....

He was fun to make.
He is jointed so he can be positioned.
I used felt for the paws and glass eyes.
A nice furry fabric for the body.
Stuffing and weighted pellets on the inside.

This is his back....

As I made him he seemed to come to life.

Strange how you take all of the above items -- 
do a little cutting and sewing -- 
and all of a sudden you have a cute little bear.

It is fun to create something 
that can make you smile....
A friend that will always be there 
when you need them....

Say good bye for now, Mr. Pandy....

Bear hugs to all!


The artist's world is limitless.
It can be found anywhere, 
far from where he lives 
or a few feet away.
It is always on his doorstep.
Paul Strand