About Me

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Great Falls, Montana, United States
I love creating art. I love the Creator! And through that love, I find a little slice of heaven on earth and I give Him all the glory! It's a great adventure and I'm excited to see what's around the bend! Come join me, won't you?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

zippered pouches ~ peaceful n' thoughtful

good morning ~

here's the continuing love story i'm having with making the zippy pouches, using jelly roll fabric cuts.  this time from basic grey in neutrals.  {such a fun change for me!}

because... as i was cleaning up studio from last week's sewing fiesta, i found some great ribbons and buttons to use for this color way of designs.
and it was satisfying to use a foot that is a dream to put to work sewing on buttons ~ it's the bernina #18 button-sew-on foot.  and i love it!  
my bernina machine has a special "button-sew-on" stitch, too.  it automatically drops the feed dogs, and all you do is press the foot pedal... that is, after ensuring your needle and width fits the two holes in the buttons.  the machine stops automatically when it is finished, and it takes securing stitches, too, leaving some 'wiggle-room' space for the button, should it be used on a shirt for practical needs.
it's a pretty "peaceful" process!
and, as you can see below, i added the word "be" to this bag, as in "be peaceful."  {yes and amen!}

and just a simple little checkered ribbon for the pull:

this is the second bag in the same color way, except for the addition of the turquoise batik.  love this!!  especially since i was able to use scraps leftover from making rachel's placemats.
button~button... who's got the button? it's a dive into a pretty jar full of buttony goodness to find it~!
 one thing about doing two bags at the same time, in the same colorway... i stitched the zipper enclosures at the same time.... leaving a nice big tail at the back and the front to keep from unnecessary thread entanglements!  {i don't appreciate that drama!}  hint:  make sure at least one side of the feed dogs is solidly under at least most of the fabric.  hold onto the thread tails when you begin, too... {and a straight-stitch plate is very nice for this part of the sewing}.
tips:  line up your ruler with the center seam and point of the bag, in order to ensure a great seam meet-up.  

i free motion quilted the words, "she is thoughtful" on this bag, using magnifico thread ~ my favorite.

did you happen to catch the additional embellishment using silver dazzle thread {also from superior threads}? using that favorite and oh-so-easy, and quite lovely #39 couching foot ~ aka the clear embroidery foot from bernina.  i think it adds that special touch... {but it may be just me?!} you know if you've been reading my blog... i use this alot.  alot!   too bad it was a cloudy day, and the metallic thread isn't picking up the shine, like it does for real.
and they make a lovely duo of zippy strippy bags:
 my zippy pouches are now listed in the etsy store, too! 

so thanks for hanging out with me and my bags!!  lol
blessings on your day!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

being still ~ flathead lake

hi friends ~

there just seems to be something special about water, isn't there?   i wonder if {in part} that's why Jesus approached the disciples when they were fishing out in the ocean?  and  about peter... 
our girl's get-away at flathead lake earlier this summer 
was a season of growth.  
a season of seven days ~ for seven women. 
friendship old and comfortable; 
new ones, fresh and sweet. 
a beautiful blending of bonds forged and strengthened. 
for our walk in faith. our living for Christ.  
our understanding {deeper} of grace.  

spending time together can do that.  

we each bring burdens.  insecurities. doubts. fears. health issues. wishlists. wounds. singleness. divorce, and death of loved ones. and perhaps we think like this...  "when looking to God doesn't feel like enough?" {emily freeman}

seasons of leaning in... falling in.  failing ... and listening. 

we came together as friends, old and new ~ yes. but our true, and precious commonaility is as Sisters in Christ. we brought up our packed-up art supplies, sewing, books, and "want-to" lists...  and our unpacked baggage, too.  

and He helps us unpack.  unload. learn. {unlearn}. 
be still. 
be grace. 
as we learn to love Him ~ more.
to lavishly give ~ and live in ~ His grace ~ 
so preciously given. 
 to friends. family. strangers and sisters. 
for all of our days left.

we sit together.  
sometimes there's quiet talk.  
most times, there is not.  
and pray.  
{if necessary, use words}.
 we dream.  we imagine. we gaze.  

and we are amazed.

we find wild horses in the sky... in the dreamy clouds of the sunsets on the water..

in the laughter and glory. 
we drink in both. 
desperate for the refreshment.
we praise the Father for this gift.

and we revel that God does this all over the world for so many ~ not just for us.

but here ... in this place... He does it just for us.
just for this moment.
and He binds us together 
in these precious gifts of time 
that only He can lavish upon us.

we watch til the evening darkens.
and quiet night descends.  
and we breathe in.  
and let go.
and hold on to the promises:

"...be still... {cease striving} 
and know that I am God."  
Psalm 46:10

i've been reading emily freeman, author of
{quoted from her book}, she says this: 
"the word we read as cease is sometimes read 
be still, let go, return.  
but the the first way, the original way, is a verb that means 
{oh.  okay.  let's dive in deeper...}
she goes on to write: "the short definition of this  hebrew word {sink} is raphah, is "fail." fail and know that I am God.
as we begin to uncover the art of God had in mind when He made us, as we begin to wake up to our deepest desires and expose them in the presence of Jesus, there is a real possibility we will become overwhelmed with one of two realities in front of us.  either we have lived alot of our lives denying who we truly are and we feel discouraged for the wasted time, or we see what we most deeply desire and want to forsake everything in order to have those desires satisfied now.
we are in danger of sinking into either regret and anxiety 
or self-effort and self-expression.
but God invities us into a different kind of sinking. 
...this isn't the kind of sinking into the frigid depths of an impersonal sea.
... this sinking is one into knowing, knowing he is God."
{and grace.  more grace.}
what if... 
"what if we began to see our art as something other than our idea?  what if it was less lofty and more necessary to our daily rhythm? what if your art is part of the bigger picture?
part of a daily grace God has in mind for someone else?
aren't we all scared fisherman in a boat?"
"we are all Peter, standing ankle deep in cold water."
"...so Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink."save me Lord!" he shouted.  Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. "You have so little faith," Jesus said. "Why did you doubt me?"  {Matt. 14:29-31}
emily freeman ~ a million little ways.

emily continues:  "we are all like peter...  and upon this rock, He builds.  and builds. and builds.... Peter who refuses to receive the service of Jesus in humility. Peter who suggests the Lord could avoid the cross --- he is called rock and given the keys to the kingdom of heaven."

emily: "the miracle, upside-down work of God is that our failure isn't an obstacle, it's an opportunity 
to remember to sink into God.  
not having what it takes isn't a liability
it's a prerequisite." {emily freeman}
{thank God}

gifts. and more gifts ~ everywhere.
a learning to be quick to listen ~ slow to speak
praying without ceasing.
listening for His still voice.
falling {and failing} into Him.
giving thanks for our sweet devotions 
and prayer time ~ together.
one thousand gifts in every moment.  
if we will ~ but be still.
"You are art and you make art, but you are not your art.  
You are God's art." {emily freeman}

Lord ~ teach us ~ help us 
to each live out our art in You.
thank you emily!  it's a wonderful book.  {and i am not even half-way through yet!} 

soli deo gloria!

Friday, August 15, 2014

zippy trippy bags ~ a roundup of designs

good morning glories!

making bags this week has felt like a fun little retreat in my own home... play. play, play ~ with color, placement, and embellishments for this darling pattern. 

as i've been pulling out the beads, ribbons, fabric strips.  the tassles, scraps, yo-yo's, labels, crystals, and lace!  threads, fusibles, leftover batting and more ~ it's all seemingly everywhere!  and my oh my.  {my studio is a very messy, messy place!}  it's definitely time to regroup and reorganize.
first up is this week's early favorite, the largest sized bag, and made from the sweetwater line of fabrics, called "noteworthy." and the bead... oh yeah. this is the perfect accent.  
i didn't plan it, but when i found it in the dish, 
i knew... it was exactly the right touch.
hints: stitching on this label? {below} nice and straight. easily executed ~ looks so much nicer with a longer stitch length {3.0} and it helps to use the beautiful, perfectly made, magnifico threads!  100% polyester 40 wt thread, with masterpiece 50 wt 100% els {extra long staple} cotton in the bobbin.  their performance... is flawless!

yes ~ more crystals. but this time... just a tiny bit!  less is... more?!  yes. definitely. and a little dab of fray check to the edges of the cut lace so they don't fray.

the direction for the large bag call for a two-inch box pleat. it makes the bag shape more of what i would call a wedge. and what i have found is that you can very much change this to suit your own taste, style and design.  another thing i've learned... i like the seams to match, whether on the sides, or in the box pleat. and so now i am more careful about those little details, and it has a professional finish.  {i didn't match the box pleat as seen in the photo below}  i could have ripped it out... but since i glued down the pleat on the inside... too late!  hint: {check your work before you stitch, or glue!} 

and how about a little free motion design love?  
 {now that's a happy all the time for me!}  
add to that a little fabric deliciousness with a hand dyed piece of fabric from the talented vicki welsh!  
this was a "charmer" piece, and it was a thank you gift vicki included with my last order.
thanks vicki!!
 sweet {and super happy} i tell ya!!
and i don't recall where i got the little bead and silver cross embellishment for the zipper pull.  but it was in my bead stash. i often recycle them from bookmarks, purses... whatever, so it was cool to be able to put it to use here. 

and i'll say this. as far as i know, see... or live life...  {hint}: be happy! and this happy is because of Jesus' gift to me!  life eternal. right now. right here!  {even in sewing}!

and another large bag with another label.  oops.  i messed up the lace a bit on this one, and thought i was cutting it straight, which i did, but it was too close and came undone!  uh oh.  "sew it goes"  !!

and then i found a new fabric {in my stash} ~ oh... oh!!  it's the new fabric "glow" from amy butler ~  and then, a new butterfly fabric from laura gunn... {oh my yes} turned into a lovely design element ...
and carefully i cut out, and then fused on.  add black sketchy free motion stitching,and it's just a little slice of pretty pink {heaven on earth!}
now there's a box pleat {and seams} matched up.
i'm tickled pink with that!!  
after all, it is the pursuit of excellence in all things...

i do adore the black stitching on this piece:
those sweet fused flowers that have been lingering on bag  to bag... table to table ... finally found their perfect home, on another beautiful piece of hand dyed fabric from vicki!  {love}.  
free motion with magnifico thread
{of course!}
she is blossoming {just in case you can't tell from the writing!}
i saved the fabric edges i cut off when straightening the strips... and used them for the zipper pull.
simply~ it's just this.
the more you do.
the better you get.
because the more you learn,
the more ideas you get.
and the better the skills. 
bags. life. sewing. free motion.
{yes} i have more!
have a fabulous weekend!
soli deo gloria

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