Deep Dive

When something really grabs me, I dive into it.

Fabric rope bowls have really “grabbed” me, and I have taken a deep dive into producing bowls!

I have been playing around with different sizes and shapes.
It is a great way to use up scraps
I also viewed some online tutorials on making these bowls without wrapping fabric around the rope.
I had some minimal lengths of rope left over from making the bowls, so I made these tiny bowls without fabric.

My brother liked the bowls so much, that he sent me a box of fabulous fabric.
I thought it was for me.
It was not.

The fabric came with an order for one large bowl, one small bowl, and one shopping tote bag!
It is going to be a bit of a challenge to make the bowls out of this fabric.
The fabric is a bit thicker than what I have used.
I might have to wrap the strips around the rope instead of placing the rope in the middle of the folded strip.
My brother graciously said there is no timeline on this fabric.
I think it is only fair that my brother send a box of fabric for me!

Moving Mountains

Every morning, I have been reading from Simple Ways, by Gunilla Norris.
Today’s chapter was about Receiving Our Opportunities: being open; not closing up; not falling into bad habits.
In the Consideration portion of this chapter, the reader is reminded that one cannot move mountains.
Then, the reader is asked if one could be satisfied with just moving, and taking the next step.
As I was mulling these thoughts in my head, I stepped out onto my porch.
It has been dreary, drizzly, and grey, and I just wanted to look at the sky to see if there was any chance for sunshine.
As I stepped out, I saw this little snail…taking the next step…slowly…deliberately.
It was moving mountains at its own pace.
I captured this moment and made a video.
Maybe it will remind us all to just to receive our opportunities and take the next step.

After spending a few minutes just staring at this snail, I went out to run some errands. When I came home, the snail was still on the porch. It was nearer to the edge, so it had made some progress.
I took a picture of it.

Then I went inside to thread sketch it.
I do not know if I will color it or leave it plain.
I am thinking of piecing this into a block to add to a quilt I am making for my grandson.
He loves snails.

So far, my day has been errands and snails.
I am just taking the next step at my own pace…and enjoying it!

Happy Birthday

Friday, March 2, marks the birthday of a man who wore many hats…author, cartoonist, poet, animator, artist, political satirist. There may be some controversy in Theodore Seuss Giesel’s past; and although I do not agree with one of his early political stances during WWII, I am not here to pass judgement. I believe that we can learn from mistakes in history. And I believe he did learn and have a change of heart.
The contribution Giesel made to promote reading, and the teaching of reading, still has it’s affects on children’s literature today.
Dr. Seuss came into my childhood home when my brother was born. I was 10. My mother joined a book club, and we received all Dr. Seuss books on a frequent basis. I used these books to read to my brother. Even as a child myself, I could see that it was a good tool for teaching reading. I got my brother reading, and this was a boy who could never sit still!
Hop on Pop was a favorite Seuss book that my three sons chose for their dad to read to them at night.They were reading at a very early age.
The curriculum I wrote for my students was literature based. I collected and purchased children’t literature to use for instruction. I had a very inviting classroom library. Dr. Seuss was a special selection in my class library for each grade level that I taught. I taught pre-K through fifth grade. The fifth graders learned how to interpret the author’s purpose and message when reading Dr. Seuss. My reluctant and emergent readers in the early grades learned the basics of word families and enjoyed the playful, musical, non-nonsensical words.
Every March, my students and I would participate in the Read Across America, which is celebrated on March 2 in honor of Theodore Seuss Geisel.
When I was thinking that I might retire, I had many discussions with my sons.
I quoted Dr. Seuss to my youngest son, to express how I felt about the possibility of retiring.
He made this poster and framed it for me:

I may not have a classroom anymore, but I still celebrate March 2.
One of my Meemaw friends shares a birthday with Dr. Seuss and we will be celebrating on Friday.
I always attempt to write a Seuss-Like poem for her, and I am working on one today. This is my first draft:

Shout it from the rooftops, the tree Brumbles, and Broars
Shout it out loud, ‘til your throats are all soar
Say it in email, snapchat, or twitter
Spread the word with rainbows, and Boohahs, and glitter
It’s Marti’s 65th revolution around the earth
Sing! Dance! Fill the world with mirth!
Fill it with PIE, we’re not watching our girth
Happy birthday, dear Meemaw
Happy birthday, sweet friend
We celebrate you from morning to day’s end!

As part of my celebration, I painted two Cat in the Hat rocks and I attempted to thread sketch the Cat.

At this time, I am still only sketching the outline with thread. On my bird thread sketching, I have practiced adding texture and shading with thread. On the Cat, I just did the outline and colored in the rest. I am not happy with the face, but it will have to do.

Thread Sketch plus fabric crayons and markers


Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week. 
Joseph Addison

I gave myself a day to relax before I returned to my studio.
It was fun getting back to my sewing machine.
I am still trying to decide what type of quilt I will be making next.
Time was spent designing different quilts and thinking things through.
Nothing really says, “This is it!”.
It is fun designing and planning though.
In the meantime, I have enough to keep me busy.
I painted some more rocks to get ready for Easter.

I also made a couple of baskets. I am trying out new sizes and shapes.

It was also time to make some Easter pillowcases for my grandchildren.
When I returned home, I had a letter from my granddaughter.
It was part of her class assignment.
She had to write to someone who was special.
The letter touched my heart.

The candy was a bit mushed!

She loves rainbows. As part of her Christmas present, I had given her a unicorn tape dispenser that had rainbow tape.
My son told me that she loved the postcard that I had thread sketched for her.

My other son told me that my grandson ran and showed the postcard to his cat and his dog.
I had thread sketched them on the  postcard.

The “rust” from last week’s rainy days is all washed away.
I am ready for Monday.
Hope you are, too!


Thread is expensive, and I try to conserve as much as possible.
I like to start projects with at least two full bobbins.
The problem I have is with bobbins that have not enough thread to start a project, but just enough thread to not be wasted.

This bobbin has enough to get a small project started.
There are some bobbins that have less.
Do you have any suggestions for not wasting thread?

Block #8: Friday, February 23

My Meemaw friends and I were a bit disappointed that our river cruise was cancelled due to inclement weather. We did not get to see any eagles, but we did have a very enjoyable time.
Before I left for the trip, I thread sketched an eagle for block #8. Today, I was able to add the backing and quilt the hexagon. I sort of messed up on the free motion and had to rip and redo. This journal is for recording my special thoughts, events, and experiences. So, I am including this mess-up as my learning experience.
This eagle represents the fun days I spent with my Meemaw friends.
Background: Kona Snow White
Technique: Thread sketching, fabric crayons and markers, free motion
Batting: 100% Cotton
Embellishments: None

Marble Falls: Day 1

The Clown Car arrived in Marble Falls this morning, and so far it has been a blast. The view from our rental is beautiful. We spent the day walking in the historic area and in the park. The big rainstorm is due to hit tonight and tomorrow. The cruise company contacted us to cancel the river cruise. 🙁 We were able to see cardinals, yellow-rump warbler, woodpecker, turkey vulture, ladder back, Carolina Wren, coots, Canada Geese, mallards, and turtles.

The Pottery Ranch has quite an inventory of garden furniture, pottery, sheet metal sculptures, and more. I took a picture of the only eagle we will see on this trip.

imageI hope you enjoy the video of our first day. The pie in the video was delicious!👍🏼

Studio Closed

This morning, I went shopping for the last minute things I needed for our trip to Lake Buchanan for the Vanishing River Cruise.
My Meemaw friends and I leave tomorrow.
As I mentioned in a previous post, the forecast for the rest of the week is thunderstorms.
Our hopes for seeing eagles on this cruise are diminishing, but not totally gone.
Oh, well, we heard about the Bluebonnet Cafe in Marble Falls, Texas.
It has 16 flavors of pie. (Check out the cafe link and you will see the Texas-sized pies.)
We have not been to this cafe yet.
The cafe has a Pie Happy Hour.
As my friend said, “When it rains, let them eat pie”.
So, the trip will be worth while…eagles or no eagles.
As I was shopping, I saw many St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and Spring items on display.
I started thinking of what I could make.
Then, I saw this package of colorful 2.5 inch strips.
I decided to go home and make a rainbow fabric rope bowl.
The package had 14 strips that were each 42 inches long; and 2.5 inches wide.
I made the base of the bowl about 5.5 inches wide.
I wanted to make a deeper bowl.

This bowl makes me smile.

I want to buy some variegated thread before I make a second rainbow bowl.

I thought I could fill it with these lucky shamrock coins to celebrate the Irish side of the family.
Maybe, I can paint some shamrocks on stones.
Then, for Easter, this basket can be filled with eggs and springtime goodies.
Tierney, thanks again for introducing me to fabric rope bowls.
I am having so much fun making these bowls.
I also decided to try and thread sketch an eagle.
I will complete this hexagon block when I return. It will be this week’s entry in my fabric journal.

I viewed and studied different pictures of eagles.
Then, I very lightly drew the outside outline with a fabric pencil.
I decided to thread sketch in black thread and color with fabric crayons and markers.
I do not have enough pretty blue fabric to use for the backing, so I will purchase some when I return.
The studio is now officially closed for the week.
I will be taking hand crafts and paints for what we are now calling our Craft Retreat.
There is no room in my friend’s car to lug around a sewing machine.
Besides, we are still hoping that we get enough of a break in the weather to go on the cruise.

My Own Sunshine

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather,
always bring your own sunshine.

Anthony J. D’Angelo

The Clown Car will be departing this coming week, in spite of weather predictions of thunderstorms.
We will just take our own sunshine…and some craft stuff!
One of my friends asked if I would take my stone painting supplies so we can keep busy during the down time on our trip to Lake Buchanan. I am also taking my hexagon baggie with me. I started cutting fabric and making some hexagons out of my scraps. Maybe, I can talk my buddies into helping me increase my stack of hexagons! I am planning to make either some place mats, a table runner, or just some mug rugs with these hexagons. I found a real cool tutorial on how to make a table runner.
Making these tiny hexagons is a bit tedious, but I like using up my fabric. I can make these as I watch TV.

My husband does not think we will be seeing any eagles on the Vanishing Texas River Cruise, so he gave me a tiny eagle for my display case.

I am getting the snacks for the trip with the Meemaws, so, I decided to make four snack drawstring bags.

All I need to do now, is fill these bags up with small snacks.
I also used sealant on the rocks I painted. I want to get my brother’s rock in the mail before I leave this week. The rocks are all shiny and protected now.

I am happy to report that I had more success today as I made my third fabric rope basket.
Thanks to Tierney, who pointed out that my zig-zags were too far apart, I made the adjustment today.
I also found the preparation of the strips to be easier and faster.
My sister had told me that she wanted a basket to hold her remotes. I cut some strips from some remnants that I had. I also started cutting up more strips so that I can make some scrappy fabric baskets when I return from my trip.

It is still a bit wonky, but the stitches are much better now.

This has been yet another cloudy, grey, and wet day.
Not really rain…just yuck.
I brought my own sunshine by making some fun things.

Tomorrow’s To -Do List

  • Shop for snacks
  • Pack

Bluey Did It

As a child, my brother had an imaginary friend named Bluey.
Bluey was always the one who told my brother to get into mischief.
Two years ago, I made a blue quilt for my brother.
Today, I painted Bluey on a flat stone.

I have run out of flat stones, so I need to go on a hike to search for more.
I checked out some stores today, but the selection of stones was not quite what I need.
Besides, it will be more fun to go on a rock searching walk.