Thursday, January 31, 2013

Looking for hearts . . .

I know today is still January . . . but I am anxious to get my month of hearts started.  The past couple of years during the month of February I have tried to take pictures of hearts that I see throughout the  month.  Sometimes I get lucky and find a random heart like this one.  This year I will try to post a picture of a heart everyday in February.  So to celebrate tomorrow being the first day of February - I am starting my "Heart A Day" posts a day early.  Just a simple little heart scratched into the concrete that I happened to notice on a walk.  I try notice things around me . . . things that might otherwise get overlooked.  Sometime this is as easy as looking at the sky and seeing a beautiful sunset.  Other times you have to take the time to look around - or maybe look down. 
"Trip over love, you can get up. 
Fall in love and you fall forever."   
                                    ~Author Unknown

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

52 Lists . . . list #5

Here is list #5 - of the 52 list challenge from Meet Me At Mikes
. . . I think I need to add one more.  I like the smell of newspaper and pencils.  (together)   This is sort of a weird one . . . my grandma always did the daily crossword puzzle in the newspaper and whenever I smell this combination - it reminds me of her.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Zombie love . . .

I didn't get her finished today . . . but I like her so far.  My little red headed zombie!  Hopefully the week won't be too hectic and she will get some clothes and a story. Since we are watching past episodes of "The Walking Dead" - it was appropriate that I was working on zombie dolls this weekend. 

About Mona

I decided that Mona needed a friend.  This is her pet rat Pepper. 
Mona is serious little zombie who gets a little upset if she doesn’t get enough attention.  She likes red carnations and Dr. Pepper.  She is a safe little zombie . . . she believes it is more important to make friends than to bite friends.  She has a pet rat named Pepper who she always keeps by her side . . .  because sometimes it is a little lonesome being a zombie.

New little zombie doll . . .

I finished a new doll this morning - finally!  This little zombie was fun to make.  I still have to write her little bio and name her, but I was anxious to get some pictures posted of her.  She will  be listed in my shop clarehelen tomorrow.  I am hoping to have another zombie doll done by then too.

I thought I would get a couple of Shabby Charlotte zombies made and listed - since "Walking Dead" is starting up again in a couple of weeks.  I never would have thought that I would like that show, but I started watching it this season - and I am hooked . . .
  I woke up at 3:00 this morning with all kinds of stuff running through my head.  I couldn't seem to shut it off - so I just decided to get up.  By 4:00 - I was up, showered, and had had a cup of coffee.  I am thinking a nap may be part of my afternoon.  Until then - I think I will create another little zombie doll, get a couple of dolls ready to ship, and mop my floor . . . and maybe fit in an episode of "Walking Dead." 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday Seven #3 - Favorite Summertime Activities

Saturday Seven - I joined up for the 52 week challenge at planettreasure
Summertime . . . my favorite time of year and as I am thinking about this list I can't help but wish it was 95 degrees instead of 45 degrees.  But I was complaining about the cold last week while eating lunch . . . I opened up my fortune cookie and it read . . . "The weather is wonderful"  I took that as a sign to stop complaining and just enjoy where I am at . . . even if it is 45 degrees.  Anyway - summer will be here eventually and some of my favorite summertime activities . . .
1.  Laying in the sun - I am one of those people that love to be in the sun . . . it can be 105 and I can lay out in the heat.  (Unfortunately I was diagnosed with melanoma not too long ago - so my sun worshipping days are over - and I advise everyone to be sensible when out in the sun.)  I still lay by the pool - but slathered in sunscreen, under an umbrella, wearing a big hat to shade my face . . .    
2.  Playing tennis - I wish I had taken up this sport when I was younger.  My husband is an excellent player and a pretty good coach - so he has me hitting the ball pretty good these days.  Great exercise!
3.  Going for a bike ride - I ride my bike so many places when the weather is warm.  I have this great basket - so I try to ride to the grocery store, when we go hit tennis balls, and even to work.  Although taking Lily out for a ride to the park is the most fun.

4.  Pool time - especially watching Lily and Uncle Jake.  Since she was a baby - these two have always had fun in the pool.  Each summer she starts out hesitant and afraid of the water . . . it doesn't take long before Jake gains her trust and she is having a great time.
5.  Visiting Iowa - I don't work during the summer, so I always use that time to go visit my family and friends in Iowa.  At this point I have lived away from Iowa longer than I live in Iowa . . . but it will always be home to me.  I grew up in a wonderful small town - I love going back there each year. 
Unfortunately I don't know if I will get back there this summer.  My mother recently moved to where my brother lives and I will go visit them this summer in another state.  (I am thinking taking Mom to Iowa for a visit is an excellent idea.)
6.  Gardening (and working in the yard) - My garden is small . . . a few raised beds - but I love being out there when it is warm and sunny.  There is nothing like the taste of home grown vegetables in the summer.  Our temperatures get quite high during the summer - so we usually try to get the yard work done early in the day . . . which then leads to # 7 on my list.
7.  A cold beer . . .
I thought I was missing summer when I started this post . . . now I really am.  Fortunately our summer weather comes early and it is a long season.  Until then - I will control my wimpy attitude about the colder temperatures - I have plenty to do indoors these days.
Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

List Challenge . . . list #4

List #4 . . . of the 52 list challenge
Favorite childhood TV shows . . . my age shows on this one.  I remember our TV watching was very limited.  We watched cartoons on Saturday morning and maybe for a half our or so after school.  I'm sure we watched more during the winter when the weather kept us inside more. 

52 list challenge @ Meet Me At Mikes

Sunday, January 20, 2013

"Grandma Bed"

I decided to use my "grandma" quilts and afghans rather than just have them stashed away in a closet.  For some time I had this quilt on a quilt shelf that hung in my house.  I was concerned that it was getting dirty so decided to store it away.  I decided it really needed to me enjoyed - rather than be stuck away where I never see it.  This quilt was made by my grandma years ago.  It was on my bed when I was very young.
It really is beautiful - and all hand quilted.  I think of her hands working when I look at it.
I have another quilt that she made later - that I now have on the bottom of my bed.  I will have to post a picture of that one sometime.  I believe it is called a cathedral window quilt and each piece is a different fabric.
The pillow cases were embroidered by my mom.  They also were on my bed when I was little.  I remember my room had pink wallpaper with kittens in it. 
The darker wool quilt was made by Richard's grandma and the granny square afghan was crocheted by my mom.  I can remember laying underneath it when I was young.  I loved to use it in the winter when it was cold - because it was really heavy.  I used to pile the blankets during those cold Iowa winters to the point that I could hardly move underneath them.
I will have to see what else I have to add to my "grandma" bed . . . maybe add something that I have made.   Nothing spectacular - but a whole lot of love and memories in this handwork.  It is much more fun to curl up here and read than it was with the store bought comforter that I had on the bed before.  Maybe it's my age . . . but I feel the need to enjoy and use the things that I think are beautiful and mean something to me.  I also find myself telling the kids who made what and the stories behind different items that have been in my family for years.  I like to think that it isn't because I am getting older (although - I am) - but also because they are starting lives of their own and getting to the age where it means something to them too.  I remember sleeping under a quilt that my grandma had made (it was a sun bonnet baby quilt).  My grandma used to get it out when I spent the night with her.  I hope Lily and Charlotte will enjoy sleeping under the "grandma" quilts one day. 
Missing my grandma today . . . .

Saturday 7 . . . on Sunday

Favorite food lists are not easy for me for some reason . . . don't know why - but let me give it a try.  In no particular order here it is.  I don't know if this first item on my list qualifies as a food - but since I look forward to the first taste every morning, the first item on my list is . . . 
  1. Coffee - I really try to limit how much coffee I drink, but so enjoy that first cup in the morning.
  2. Cesar Salad w/Chicken
  3. Potstickers (Chinese dumplings) - I can eat so many of these it is ridiculous. 
  4. Butterscotch Cream Pie - my mother used to make this for my birthday instead of cake.
  5. Fresh tomatoes from the garden - those from the store don't do much for me, but from the garden they are so delicious
  6. Italian food 
  7. Eggs - I can eat an egg on top of practically anything . . . I am just trying to remember what leftovers I have in the fridge that I can throw an egg on top of for breakfast.
I joined this 52 list challenge here . . .planettreasures

"It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato." -Lewis Grizzard

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

this just makes me smile and laugh . . .

This pattern was for a newborn.  Since Charlotte is 4 months old I decided to add one row . . . just to make sure it would not be too small and that maybe she could wear it for a little while.  So it is a little big or at least bigger than what I intended.  This picture just makes me laugh . . . how is it that you can put any kind of hat or outfit on a baby - and it can make you smile. 
"Babies are such a nice way to start people." 
                                                           ~Don Herrold

Monday, January 14, 2013

List Challenge . . . list #3

List #3 - in the 52 list challenge that I joined at Meet Me At Mikes

I usually do not go to movies in the theater.  I am hard of hearing and for years just stopped going.  I wear hearing aids now - but even with them it isn't always enjoyable . . . louder does not always mean I can hear it better.  If only theaters would show movies once a week with captions for the hearing impaired.  Anyway - that said . . . I wait for movies to come out on DVD.  A few of these are already out on DVD - in fact I already have a couple of them.  I just need to sit myself down with a bowl of popcorn and enjoy.  Tonight may have to be a movie night.

crocheting for charlotte

I finished this cute little turban for Charlotte last night.  She was sleeping by the time I got it done - so I will have to wait to see how she looks with it on.  I thought this was the cutest pattern . . . I may have to make some in other colors.  Also working with this soft baby yarn was nice.  I messed up the stitches in a few rows - I probably wasn't paying attention and crocheted in the front stitch when I should have crocheted into the back stitch or something.  I sure wasn't going to rip it all out - and besides - other than bothering me because I am a nut about such things - I'm pretty sure Charlotte won't even notice.  : )
I found the pattern here . . .  this mama makes stuff
If you would like a knitted version . . . Pickles
Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Louise & Otus

I'm not sure what I like better about Louise . . . her heart shaped lips, her embroidered bag, or her owl friend Otus.  I had a lot of fun with this detail on this on.  I stitched beads along her bodice, embroidered a winged heart on her bag, made her lips in the shape of a heart - and made her a little owl friend.  She will be for sale in my Etsy shop - clarehelen
Louise is a fun loving little doll who loves romance.  She has had her heart broken . . . but she still believes in love and “happily ever after “.  She is very outgoing and loves to be around people, but she sometime just likes to be by herself.  She likes candlelight, daisies, and Earl Grey tea in a fancy teacup.  Her best friend is an owl named Otus . . . He tags along wherever Louise goes.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Saturday Seven

I joined a list challenge here - Meet Me At Mikes
I make lists all the time - and it is only once a week . . . Well that sounded like fun - so why not do another one here - planettreasures
Again only once a week . . . Saturday Seven. 
The first list topic for Saturday Seven is . . . My Wishes for 2013
I WISH . . .
1. for an end to all the violence in the world.
2. people would start taking care of our earth.
3. for Jake to get the classes he needs for school.
4. for motivation to get back into shape.  (I know - I don't really need to wish - I am in complete control of this - I just have to do it.)  : )
5. for my 1000 crane project to get some feedback.
6. for all my friends and family fighting a battle or struggling with something (whatever it may be) - that they find the answers, peace, and strength to get through.
7. I have some health issues going on - I wish for a healthy year.
Looking forward to next Saturday's topic.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday randomness . . .

It's Friday!  It has been a good week . . . but I am looking forward to the weekend.  For some reason my house is a disaster.  Too much sewing - not enough cleaning I guess, but that is a good thing - right?  Just a few random pictures from my week and a little something I made for Charlotte last night. 
I found this sitting on my desk this week.  My friend Gwen was getting rid of some things and thought I would like these.  Her son had gotten them years ago when he was in Japan.  A Hello Kitty hankie and some small origami paper.  The paper is wonderful - very thin and delicate . . . it will make some beautiful cranes. 
. . . picking up Lily from school yesterday.  She looked so cute.  She had her pink beanie and gloves and a cute pink scarf - but she did not want me to take her picture for some reason.  I had to sneak this one . . . she kept looking at me like she was trying to catch me. 
Richard surprised me with a new coffee cup.  Not that I need one - but he knows that I like them.  I love the YOU. ME. on the inside.
We were up early this morning - 4:30 to be exact.  I'm not sure why I decided it was a good idea to get out of bed at 4:30 on a cold morning . . . maybe because it was Friday and I wanted to get the day started.  Since we were up early - Richard and I stopped at Panera for coffee.  Love their sign . . .
Cup it.  Stir it.  Mix it.  Sip it.
Happy Friday!
I made a toy for Charlotte last night.  I just love all the tags on baby blankets and toys.  I thought it would fun to make her something with tags.  I just cut the fabric the size that I wanted and pinned on the tags.
I decided to stitch the around the piece before putting the whole thing together.  I did this to reinforce the ribbon tags - since this is for a baby.  In fact I backstiched over the ribbons so they were actually stitched over three times here.
Then I put the pieces together.  I layed it out so there was a piece of plastic on the inside that makes a crinkly sound.  (I cut up the plastic bag that Charlotte's baby wipes come in.  Then I stitched around the edges leaving and opening to turn it right side out.
Then I stitched around the whole thing close to the edge to close the opening and reinforce the tags one more time and appliqued a heart on one side.  It actually turned out sort of cute and makes the best noise when she grabs it in her little hands.  It is perfect for her right now.  She is just starting to grab things - and she can't always get ahold of them.  All she has to do is get this in her little hand and it is easy for her hang on to - and makes noise.  She has another toy that has the plastic inside and makes the same noise - but it is an elephant and as cute as it is - the stuffed head makes it sort of hard for her to hold on to right now.
Love the tags . . .

Have a Wonderful Weekend!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

my feel good thing for today . . .

I think all tea bags should come with a cute saying or message. 
This made my day!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

List Challenge . . . list #2

52 lists . . . one a week for a year.  So I figure I am behind one week and with my personality - I have to get caught up.  (probably the same personality trait that makes me like lists.)  So here is list number two.  It is a list of quotes from my 1000 paper crane project. 
 “I love the ritual of drawing up lists, and there's something wonderfully satisfying about ticking tasks off.”   ~ Shaida Kazie Ali

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

List Challenge . . . list #1

I decided to join a 52 list challenge that I found at Meet me at Mikes.  It sounds like fun and I like the idea of 52 (one a week) - rather than a 365 day challenge.  So let's see how I do.
List #1 - Things I collect and keep for projects . . .
Origami Paper
Ribbons and Trims

This is a special project that I have going.  It is going a little slower than I anticipated . . .
but I will finish.