Sunday, November 28, 2010


Thanksgiving is over which means though the calendar says it's still fall the season says its time to get ready for winter and Christmas.  Here is a new Christmas card I made last week.  The layout is quite simple, but I think it needed to be simple to highlight the background I created.

For the background I used my Cuttlebug and the snowflake embossing folder.  In order to get a nice deep embossed image I used GinaK's heavyweight (120lb) white card stock.  The debossed image became the right side of my background.  This was so I could roll the blue ink over the cardstock using my hard rubber brayer. You can't tell in the picture, but the while layer behind the snowflakes layer has the edges painted with icicles stickles to give the sparkle of new snow when the sun shines on it.  I colored the snowman and birds with my copics and added liquid applique to the hat brim and pompom.

It was a fun card to do and really not all that difficult.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Along with other things I have been stamping.  Several weeks ago, actually probably over a month ago but who's counting, GinaK did a video on StampTV on an emboss resist technique.  I loved it and couldn't stop playing around with it.  I used it on several different cards. This is the first I came up with.  Not too impressive here in the photo, but it really does look much brighter in real life. The embossing and then inking and the resist is easy to do. 

I wanted to try something different with it and I was using my French Script Stampin' Up background stamp for the writing in the background so for one of my next cards I used my oval nestabilities and created a mask to stamp over to get the words in an oval shape.  I then used other of the oval and scalloped oval nestabilities to finish the layout. 

I like how this technique can produce what I Think of as "clean and simple" cards without being just a stamped image.  Now I want to try it moving away from the leave motif.  I think it would work with any chunky solid stamp and I'm thinking of other backgrounds.  I think it would also work with patterned or designer papers in the background under the embossed image. 

Saturday, November 06, 2010


Hard to believe but another month has passed.  I just don't have very good control of my time it would seem. 
The good news for me is that though I have not been getting here to post craft updates I am crafting.  I'm still moving slow to accommodate the pain of the broken collarbone, but I can pretty much do everything except for machine quilt medium to large projects. 
The one thing I have been able to do with no problems at all because it only involves movement from hand to elbow is crocheting.  So I started making these necklaces.
They are 7 lengths of trellis or ladder ribbon yarn each one single crocheted and then all tied together at both ends.  My sister has been making these for over a year and had shown me how to do them last Christmas, but I never tried one till I was desperate to have something I could do.  They are very pretty and are so light that you are not even aware they are around your neck.  They are also quite easy and quick to make.  I made about 50 or 60 of them in about three weeks.  After today's craft festival at our church I have 10 left and now have ordered more of the ladder yarn.  People love them, which of course I love. 
I've set up a sub category of my Suzanne's Needle and Stamp craft business and call it Chains of Love.  I've want to do something to help others and have decided that I will donate $1 from the sale of each necklace to a local shelter for homeless women and children.  I chose the name Chains of Love since the necklaces are basically made up of only single crochet chains.  That they are so popular makes me very happy for that reason as well.
Up to now my efforts at crocheting have been pretty minimal.  I'm not very good at anything but single crocheting so these are perfect for me and I have now added yet another craft to my ever growing list of loves.

Friday, October 01, 2010


Oh my gosh it has been a long time since I have posted here.  I admit that for the past three weeks I haven't been doing much thanks to a broken collarbone, but prior to that there was no excuse except pure laziness.  For some reason taking pictures, processing them and uploading them here just became too time consuming....not sure why that is but that is all I can figure.  Since my crafting is still somewhat limited, but I can now at least operate a computer and type two handed I will dig back into the archives of this summers photos.  (I did at least take some pictures) and do some posting. 

Here are two cards I made using the same stamped image, water colored in different schemes.  I used Cuttlebugged embossed backgrounds in both as well as ribbons and brads.  Layouts for each card is similar.  Yet the cards are different.  So what I have here is almost identical elements but two different cards.  A fun exercise for me to do and also a lesson that you don't always need to reinvent the wheel to get a unique card. 

Not sure when I will get other cards done.  I have a special order I need to fill, but learned on Wednesday that card making is something that currently hurts my body to do.  Why does it seem to be an unwritten rule that what ever side you dominantly use is the side that you always injure????  Yes, being left handed it was my left collarbone I broke and my left arm that doesn't like a lot of movement.  Fortunately the special order is for a friend and I think she will understand if all 10 cards aren't delivered at once.  I can knit and crochet with better ease so will get some new things done in that arena.  So grateful I am not a one craft person or I would be a very sorry case right now!

Sunday, August 01, 2010


This isn;t really a craft posting.  I wanted to point out a new badge posted on the right.  It is for a group called BETA.  Please take time to check it out.  BETA stands for Bring End To Alzheimer. It is a new organization just started by three wonderful young people. I am proud to say I have known Leslie, the president of the organization, since she was a toddler.  She and my daughter Stephanie started in the church nursery together.  I've watched Leslie go through many stages of life as she found herself.  She is a wonderful young lady who has a heart for helping others. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Since it is Vacation Bible School week I am not getting to do much personal crafting.  Any craft time I have involves 105 kids from 3years old thru 6th graders,  So, in order to keep posting I am digging back to what I have been doing since spring. 

Today I am featuring stoles I made for each member of our church's confirmation class.  I have been been making these stoles since the 1990's.  I'm not actually sure when I started doing them but I know I began while Rev. Kaylor was pastor and he retired in 2000.  I'll guess it was around 1998.  I have used this design each year I have made them, but each stole is personalized with a label listing the confirmands name, the date of their confirmation, the location and the name of the minister that confirmed them.  I used to also put the name of the confirmands mentor, but we don't use mentors any longer so that line has been eliminated.  I print out the labels on my computer using pretreated muslin sheets that have been adhered to freezer paper.  The dove is appliqued and the ribbon under the dove has a pretty edge.  I try to find something with gold on it but this year I could find a ribbon with gold that I likes so I used a ribbon with embroidered roses on it.  Some years I've had to make 12 or more.  This year I think I did 8.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Yes I have found time to do some stamping.  I have even more incentive to stamp when it involves making some income and every once in a while that happens.  Unfortunately not as often as I would like, but then I am a crafter not a marketer.  A few months ago I received an e-mail from a friend of a friend who heard I made cards.  He asked if I could make wedding cards and if so would I make him several for weddings he was attending this summer.  OF COURSE!  That was my reply with a few questions on the type he was looking for.  His response was ones suitable for weddings....the rest was up to me.  OKAY!  Then I panicked....weddings are very important events, very special events and not just any greeting card would do.  Could I create something that would meet his expectations????  Well I guess I had to since I already had agreed to! 

I set to work starting to look for the  wedding set I thought I had.....oh yeah...I sold it at a yard sale because I found making wedding cards to stressful because of the importance of the day!  So first stop in making these cards was a trip to Michael's and the AC Moore....neither store had anything I liked anymore than the stamps in the set I sold.....things were not looking good....Fortunately then I had the opportunity to make a trip to BWI Airport; don't remember why or for who, but I did and this put me within a quick side trip to the only rubber stamp store I know of  in the area! (Metro DC is just not known for its interest in crafts or craft supplies I have decided.)  Fortunately they did have a couple of stamps I liked.  At this point I'm starting to think no one must like making cards for weddings because there does not seem to be a demand for wedding stamps and there for no real selection to choose from.

I purchased the two stamps I liked best and these are the three cards I came up with.  Fortunately my customer was pleased with them all.  WHEW!  Now I need to get back to using them once again and make more wedding cards.  This has been the year of weddings. I've already attended two, have two more to attend and have declined invitations to four others....I guess all those kids I have watch grow from babies to young adults are now at that age. 

Fortunately I am ready for what follows after weddings....I have lots of  welcome baby stamps.  I do hope I don't need them for a few years at least.  Though come to think of it...there were a few weddings in the past three years so maybe I do need to start planning........

Sunday, July 18, 2010


No I have not fallen off the face of the earth, though there have been days when I've wished I had.  I can't believe that it has been since April that I posted here!  In that time a lot has happened in my life and the life of family and friends around me.  There have been laughter and tears, lots of long hours working, weddings of family members and friends, funerals, even a few days off for vacation.  Through it all I have managed to get some crafting done, though never quite got here to post about the projects completed and those in progress.  I hope to do some catching up over the next few days showing some of these projects so I have a written record of them and my crafty friends don't begin to think I've become a crafting slacker...

Today I am sharing a photo of my completed quilt for my local guilds April quilt show here in Gaithersburg.  I took the picture of the quilt last week as it hung in the American Quilt Society show in Knoxville, TN.  I treated myself and my mom to a two day visit to the show.  We had a wonderful time.  I admit to having a bit of an ego.  I was amazed at the thrill I felt when I came around the corner and saw not only my quilt hanging, but also saw several women seemingly enjoying looking at it. It was a wonderful feeling of affirmation.

I feel very honored to have a quilt in this show and I feel humbled as well.  The quilts here were amazing.  I don't think even in my dreams I could ever approach the talent and skill I saw in many of them.  They were absolutely amazing and I could have looked at them for hours.  I wish I could show some of them to you.  Unfortunately I can't. Though viewers were allowed to take photos of the quilts we are not allowed to post them anywhere.  I guess due to copyright issues.  Personally, I would be thrilled to have someone want to show off my quilt, but I understand others wanting to not have that done with theirs and so I will honor this rule of the show.  So you are stuck with just seeing mine. 

I have one final photo I would like to share it is a close up of the top box on my quilt.  The name of the quilt is "Good Things Come in Boxes".  So of course I had to put something in one of my boxes.  It's hard to see this when looking straight on at the quilt, but this last picture was taken looking from the side.  The top box has a tassel hanging from the lid.  It you lift up the lid under it in the box are diamonds.  Well really crystals that are adhered to the quilt top.  You get an idea how this works in this last picture.

So there you have it. I am back to posting.  Tomorrow I will try and be back with a card or two I have made in my absence.  Though I have been mostly sewing I have done a bit of stamping and need to do more, maybe this week....we'll see.  This week is Vacation Bible School at our church and I am in charge of crafts for over 100 children.  I do have many able helpers though so hopefully even with work in the afternoon following VBS I won;t be too tired to post or to craft on my own......
So till tomorrow.......

Saturday, April 03, 2010


First I need to give a big thank you to several people who were so wonderful in responding to the loss of my camera. There are so many wonderful and giving people in my life...I am truly humbled by their generosity. First a quilting friend offered me a camera that she no longer needed and she was willing to bring it to me Monday at out quilt guild meeting. Thanks Ellen for your generous offer which I found a god send. If you read this before Monday night you will see that though the offer was gratefully received other events have recently occurred which mean that maybe someone else can benefit from your offer. Secondly, my dear daughter brought me her camera which had recently been replaced by a newer model. It cam in very handy to take pictures during a bridal shower for my new daughter-in-law and is very nice as it is a small pocket size unlike my previous camera which was more powerful, but also much larger. Finally my absolutely wonderful brother without asking simply sent me a replacement camera saying he missed my pictures. I didn't even know he knew what kind of a camera I had, but he did and he sent me the same model so I wouldn't need to spend time with a learning curve and a new camera. I am so blessed!

So as I said Ellen maybe someone else can benefit from your camera. Stephanie...I may just keep yours to carry in my purse for those unexpected photo ops. Rich, I don't have words enough to thank you and now on to my new quilt project photos.......

My first photo is a picture of the fabric I had to work with. This came from the quilt shop where I work, Capital Quilts, in Gaithersburg. The owner of the shop was a bit amazed that she not only had purchased one but two bolts of this fabric. I did have to agree that this was a rather unusual fabric for a MD quilt shop to have in stock. Maybe it would work in a quilt shop in one of our western states, but Montgomery County, MD.....not so much. She challenged me to try and do something with it and I decided to take her up on the challenge. This is the quilt I came up with. It is a quilt called Chop Suey Quilting. It is either a large wall quilt or lap quilt size at 38" x 55". I chose my fabrics with a feel for the southwest, especially with using the turquoise.

The quilt is called Chop Suey I think because the way you make it you really don't know what you are going to end up with until you are near the end of the process. Here is a close up of the center of the quilt where I think you can see the use of the Indian themed fabric better. Can you find the cut up fabric?

This was a fun quilt to make and I will hopefully be teaching a class on how to make it. I say hopefully because if no one signs up for the class obviously I won't be teaching it, but I'm not going to worry about that right now. Too many other more critical worries at this point in my life right now.

One thing I became painfully aware of while finishing this quilt is that I am not a very good machine quilter. I'd like to blame it on the fact that my sewing machine is 24 years old and not really a machine designed to be used for machine quilting like the newer ones are, but in truth I'm sure it is more operator problems. It does do a pretty good job of piecing the tops though and I really do much more enjoy the process of piecing over that of quilting.

Yes, I am a self confessed topper not a true quilter!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I'm still creating and working away getting ready for the up coming quilt show and craft sale. Unfortunately until I make a few decisions and come up with some money that isn't already budgeted for something there will be no pictures.....(picture me with a very sad face). I just got back from a wonderfully relaxing few days at a beach. It was all I could have hoped for, and I did keep creating and working on things while there while listening to the waves crash on shore. Unfortunately on the first beach walk a rogue wave came much higher than all others and I was busily focusing on what would have been a wonderful picture of a seagull perched on a post coming out of the ocean. My friend did yell out watch out, since she was watching the waves and not the bird. A smart person probably would have stood still and just suffered wet pant legs and shoes. I on the other hand looked up saw the wave and immediately set to trying to out run it; me going backwards of course. NOT SMART! Next thing I new I was looking at the beautiful blue sky and was a very wet sandy mess. I was not hurt, but alas my camera did not fare as well.......hence no more pictures. I hope to have this figured out though soon as I can't imagine living without a camera for too long. I guess I will try to schedule a few more work hours into my day or finally get the Etsy shop up and running....oops can't do that cause I need a camera for the pictures.....I'll come up with something. Anyone have a spare few hundred $'s lying around? Well I didn't think so.......but it was worth a try......:) Now it is off to work.......

Sunday, March 14, 2010


A girl can never have too many helpers! Since I am on my own now I created myself a couple of helpers to both keep me company and help me with the many tasks that seem to be piling up around the house. There never seems to be an end to the sewing projects between getting ready for the FSQ quilt show and boutique and creating class models and projects for the quilt shop. So I created Augie....she really knows her way around the sewing machine.....well at least she thinks its a fun and comfortable place to hang out on. She does have a bit of a problem reaching the foot pedal. Oh well at least she is cute and brings a smile to my face. Another great trait of hers is she is a wonderful listener and doesn't talk back....

Lately it seems that when I am at home and not sewing I am here on the computer. There's always work to be done here: Blog entries, e-mails to read, finances to track, research to be done.....yada yada yada......oh and yes for relaxation a few moments on Facebook, Splitcoast Stampers or Stamp TV. I thought I could use some help on the computer as well. Augie was busy at the sewing machine and well she really doesn't have fingers appropriate for computer work; enter Octie. She has tentacles perfect for hitting those computer keys. Unfortunately Octie likes simply hanging out on my laptop as much as Augie likes sitting by the sewing machine.

Oh well. I guess I will just enjoy them for their cutenenss and continue working on my own. They will just have to put up with my talking to them and sharing the events of my day and plans for future projects and activity. Just having someone to talk to makes them worth their weight in gold.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


The ADD has kicked in and it was time to try a different meet Frida! Yes she is knit and yes she's a fish......

I actually started Frida last November. ADD kicked in then before she was finished and I was off on another project. I guess the snow has put me into a "finish it" mode this week. I have finished quite a few projects. All the others where sewing projects. With the Olympics on TV I have been looking for had projects that I can do in front of the TV. So Frida was finished!

For those that don't know Frida is an amigurumi fish. What, you may ask, is an amigurumi???
Amigurumi is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures. According to Wikipedia, "The pervading aesthetic of amigurumi is cuteness." I think Frida is definitely cute! If you would like to make a Frida Fish the pattern can be found at Lion Brand Yarn's web site. You have to follow the link to patterns and then go to free patterns or do a search for Amigurumi.....there's a lot of cuteness to be found there.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


It's been quite a while since I had attempted a quilt top with this many small pieces and this complicated. I guess that is what being snowed in does to you. There are only two different blocks in this top. They are 12 inch blocks and this quilt will be either a wall hanging or a baby quilt. I don't really think the materials or the design lend it to being a baby quilt unless there are some parents who are very willing to think outside the box. It could be a lap quilt for someone is a wheel chair though is it probably a little wide for that.

The interesting challenge I had in putting this quilt together was keeping track of where each fabric when and also coming up with easier and more current piecing techniques than the book offered. I wasted a lot of fabric using a method given in the book for one of the blocks.

The book I used was a old one and it was interesting to see how far we have come in making quilt making easier and more stream lined.

Now I have two quilt tops to quilt and bind before March 1. Hopefully the snow will stop falling and begin to melt soon so it is easier to get out and about. I have the batting for each, but a needing to get the backing for each. For those who are not familiar with Washington DC and metro area weather at the moment....we are currently drowning in snow. 30 inches here in Germantown last weekend and another 15 inches today and it is still snowing........I guess this is why I had time to complete several complicated quilt tops......

I really need to get back up to my paper crafting studio....I have at least another two days being basically snowed in so guess I can head there in the next few days.

I also will show you the little min I made today...the pinwheel blocks here are 1 1/2 inches square. I put the tape measure here so there was a reference point as to the side of the little quilt. I really like making these little guys. however people outside of the quilting world have no idea what they are. Simply they are little quilts. Most are used as a picture hung on the wall. A few may be used for quilts on the top of doll baby beds. They are wonderfully easy and quick little projects that use up scraps left over form other projects. What fun....

Now I am working on making several sets of coasters for the upcoming quilt show. I have till April 23 st make items that will be available for sale in the guild boutique...a great place to find gift items.

So much for a projects from several days being snowed in....I will have at least two more so we'll see what comes out of them.

Sunday, February 07, 2010


This is the beginnings of what I hope with be a wonderful wall hanging. This is the start of my Bloomin' Challenge for the 2010 FSQ quilt show. Anyone have any ideas what it will look like in a few days? I'm not even sure do. Hopefully it won't be too dark......that is my worry.

Stay tunes for more updates as I sew my way through the Snow of 2010.

Saturday, February 06, 2010


'Twas a very snowy day in the mid-Atlantic. This made for a day of wonderful quilting, between the shoveling. I did finish my Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend quilt top. Maybe tomorrow I will baste it and begin quilting it. I also did some work on my Bloomin' Challenge quilt too. I don't have anything worthy of pictures yet but maybe tomorrow. I will have a few more days I think that can be devoted to quilting between the bouts of shoveling and digging out. So stay tuned....tonight a headache has set in and so I think it's time for some dinner and a little rest.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


There hasn't been much time for sewing or crafting the past week or so, but there are deadlines looming so sleep has been dispensed with. The quilt show is coming up in April and there are challenges to be tackled and boutique items to be made. This is my work in progress for the guild challenge which it titled "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend". The rules were all sides needed to be between 35 and 45 inches. The background needed to be black and there must be at least 10 diamond shape in the quilt.

The top is almost completed I have some tumbling blocks to applique on the top but haven't decided whether I am going to quilt first of after the applique. Probably I have a bit more to do before I begin the quilting. I have until March 1 to have it ready to turn in.

I do need to make time to get into the stamp room. I sold so many cards at Christmas that I hardly have any in stock. much to do and so little time to do it. Good thing I rarely cook any more.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Had a special birthday card to make so actually got some stamping done. Not happy with the photo but trust me it looks quite nice in real life!

I finally got around to using my cupcake die cut from Stampin' Up. It's really fun. I embossed the Bravo Burgundy cardstock with a Cuttlebug folder to give it some texture before I cut it out. I really liked how it turned out. The sprinkles on the cupcake are little sparkly diecuts that already had adhesive on them. I really didn't want to fuss with having to glue down the dots from the SU die cut; the candles and flames where tricky enough for my arthritic fingers. SO thanks Marnie for the Christmas present odds and ends.....that's where my sprinkles came from!

Other than this card I am now into some serious quilting as I begin to prepare for this years guild Quilt Show in April. Soon I will have some pictures of what I am working on right now it is all in pieces. By tomorrow there should be something worth sharing.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I haven't forgotten my crafting BLOG, but I really am not doing much in the way of stamping or sewing at the moment. Life is a bit overwhelming right at the moment and all my energies are going toward "real work". By the time I get home I am unfortunate side affect of the RA...Doc said I just needed to get used to less energy and more fatigue. I'm still hoping that with time my body will adjust, I will figure out a sane schedule and I will be able to get back to these activities I love. I do need to figure this out sooner rather than later since I have the quilt show boutique to prepare for....items made mean items to sell.

Until then I do have a few cards I made before all this chaos descended that I can show you. This one uses a GinaK stamp. I have a problem with black embossing powder so use black craft ink and clear embossing powder when I want black embossing. The entire main image here is embossed in this manner. I used my cuttlebug and an embossing folder for the layer just beneath the image. Some designer paper and mustard colored brads for embelishments. I like this card becasue it is more masculine and I find those card ideas harder to come up with than pretty feminine ones.

Friday, January 08, 2010


The end of November found me working back at a quilt shop. I think I mentioned in my previous post that I will be teaching classes. This means I need class samples. The first was the placemat in the post before this. My second class, assuming people sign up will be a Double Irish Chain Quilt. The making of the model for this class took me the week following Christmas. It has been quite a while since I have made a quilt of this size. Most of what I have done the past few years have been baby quilt size or smaller. Here it is.

I am very happy with how it turned out and I couldn't have finished it in the time I did without my mothers help. I now remember the main reason I do baby quilts or smaller is there is so much less bulk to manipulate while doing the quilting. This quilt was from a book written years ago by Eleanor Burns. She labeled it a lap quilt. I think she must know people with very large laps. In my estimation it is a twin quilt.

No that this quilt is complete and hanging on the wall at Capital Quilts in Gaithersburg, MD I will look for my next quilting project, but I also do want to get back to some stamping. Now that the holidays are behind us hopefully I will find some free time to get back up to the stamp room.