Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Fiberluscious & Cynthia Crane Pottery- Grow Your Own Blog Party Giveaway!

hosted by 2 Bags Full

I can't believe that it has been a year since Vicki invited us all to her 1st Grow Your Blog Party. I have met so many great people from that event and I am so happy to be a part of the festivities this year as well! If you have been reading my posts, you have already met Cynthia Crane from CynthiaCranesPottery on Etsy.

She also has a shop where she features her artwork on CynthiaCranesArt. I feel like I met another kindred spirit in Cindy and it gives me great pleasure to team up with her this year in our Blog Party Giveaway Extravaganza! To find her very generous giveaways, yes, plural as in three, click on her blog here. But don't forget to come back here!

I also want to thank Vicki for hosting this fun little get together. Little? Oh my, there are hundreds of us now! Vicki and her beautiful blog Two Bags Full are one of the finest examples of what handmade and blogging handmade are all about. In fact, she represents a unique vision we all embrace, which includes sharing our joy in living a creative life.
Here she is in her coat of many colors. She's lovely inside and out!

Cindy contacted me a few months ago. She was working on her beautiful blog, Cynthia Cranes Art and Gardening. She was hoping to build her visitors and introduce all of her beautiful shop items. I fell in love with her work and ordered an adorable mug. From then on, we were buddies with a common cause. So I asked her if she would send me some buttons for a joint giveaway. I worked on a bunch of ideas and finally I ended up creating this pincushion. Best of all- YOU can Win it!

Here is my Giveaway!

The Rules
So how do you go about winning this pincushion? The rules are easy. Just leave a comment below. Be sure to include a way for me to contact you in case you are the big winner. You don't have to become a member of my blog, but I would love to have you. Its a pretty quiet membership. I'm not a social butterfly when it comes to all things Internet. If you leave a comment I sometimes send replies. I promise not to fill you inbox with stuff, (who needs an over flowing inbox?) If you sign up for my newsletter, I'll try to be better about writing them. I just want you to stop by everyone in a while and enjoy what's new here in fiberluscious land. Better yet, read quickly-then get back to creating!
All entries must be in by midnight on February 12th. The winner will be announced on February 15th!

If you are a part of the Grow Your Own Blog Party, please don't hesitate to leave a short shout out about your blog and invite others to visit. This whole party is really a party after all. Mix, mingle and chat and have a great time lifting someone else up!

This pincushion is exclusive for this giveaway. It is 5 1/2 inches square and 2 1/2 inches thick. It has an emery pocket inside to sharpen your pins and needles. The rest of this pincushion is stuffed to the max with new polyester fiberfill. It comes with two glass flower topped pins. It is made of quilting cottons, vintage and new trims, and a beautiful ceramic button by Cynthia Crane. You won't find this in my shop. I wanted to make something special just for this event. I don't know that I could price it for the amount of work that it involved. In fact, I don't even know if I could even do it again if I wanted to! Just too many things learned for this design. So you will have a true one of a kind! You will see these fabrics again in a few different forms, from patchwork to more flowers.

I was so inspired by Cynthia's work. How about that adorable button in the middle of all that happiness?! Too fun indeed.
I wanted to create something warm, fun and cheery to honor her generosity and kindness. I love how it turned out. I hope it becomes a precious collection to your collection and is used often and with much joy!
I think our work just works together-

Oh how nice it was to do something new! I've been so busy with custom orders I haven't had the time to play with all the new fabrics I've been adding to my stash. I love the bright colors, the pretty trims and the movement created by the new techniques I've learned. Here is the other button she sent. I already have ideas for this little beauty. I can't wait to play again soon.

I love how the button sits on top of that fun fabric flower. I got the pattern from a book called Floral Dimensions by Pauline Ineson. I love applique and want to do much more I have time for. This book features 20 different dimensional applique flowers to add to quilt projects. Well, if its good enough for a quilt, its even better on a pincushion! I used her chrysanthemum and primrose patterns. They are easy to do and so sweet! It just takes some pretty fabric cut on the bias, some machine gathering stitches and a bit of hand work to attach it to your foundation. I would share the pattern, but I am a stickler about copyrights so you'll have to pick up the book or see if it is at your local library. If you want to add something new to your work, I think you should take a look and give her techniques a try. (Click on the highlighted title to see this book and its contents)

I also polished up my patchwork skills. Thank you PBS for sharing Eleanor Burnes with us and Quilt in a Day. Oh I just love her "Mrs. Rogers" approach to teaching. Perhaps you may find her a bit syrupy, but I adore her quick tips for quilting. I created a 36 1" square patchwork block and all my seams matched! There is something to her magic.

I plan on using that block for ideas I found in 15 Minutes of Play by Victoria Findlay Wolfe. I recommend this book highly if you are looking for new ideas and a way to find your inner creative diva. Nothing sparkly, except for the feeling you will get in your brain when a world of new ideas open up to you. I can't wait to dig in. I do think it might be hard to take a rotary cutter to all that work, but I am looking forward to discovering something amazing. (Click on the highlighted title to see this book and its contents)

A Bit About Me and how I ended up here, doing this-
I have been making things for as long as I can remember. My mom taught craft classes at our home and she was also an artist and mother of 7 kids. Wow! How did she do it? She is my hero and I adore her. My grandma was equally wonderful. She had the softest hands and one of the warmest hearts on the planet. I spent so many days sitting at her knee as she mended our clothing and talked about family and love. She was an angel and a big inspiration in my work.

I've had my Etsy shop since November of 2009. I began with softies, you know, fun plush monsters and such. I really loved them but they weren't as popular as I had hoped. I did have 6 of them published in Stuffed, A Gathering of Softies by Stampinton and Co. It was thrilling.

I was an illustrator and fine artist for many years and my specialty was portraiture.

I painted landscapes, houses, flowers.....

had some fun.....

and I must admit that some of my work was a bit out there. I loved painting and often miss it.

I have health challenges which affect my eyesight. When it just got too darn frustrating to stand at the easel with coke bottle glasses I had to quit. That is when I began to sew pincushions. I love the size. I love that they are little works of art. Each one is a blank canvas for a plethora of materials and techniques. I may start at my sewing machine but eventually I end up on the couch, listening to the TV and embroidering for hours and hours.

To help my shop along, I started to blog about 3 years ago. I wish I had more time because I really love it. Its my way of talking about my passion and much to my surprise, people actually like to read what I say. I still am amazed by that. I think we all have so much in common. When you begin with something as amazing as creativity its so easy to connect on a deeper level with others.

If you are just starting a blog and/or a shop, I would like to give you a bit of advice. Start with something you love and the joy of working will feed the many hours of marketing and blogging required to be successful in this day and age. Instead of spreading yourself too thin, so what you can and do it well.
My next bit of advice is to reach out to kindred spirits. It will feed your soul and help you to grow. Even when I was little, I used to write to my heroes. Most people, no matter how talented are just people in the end. Most will be very helpful and encouraging. Some will become your friends and that is such a wonderful gift. When someone reaches out to you, grab their hand and you both will rise.
My last bit of advice is to be patient and be diligent. Building a blog, a brand and/or a shop all take time. You will get out what you put in. Its not about luck, its about making opportunities to get lucky. Work hard at what you do and always strive to get better. Believe in your work and stand by it. Spoil your customers rotten. Be kind. Be cheerful and be grateful for your success. In the end there is no better way to make a living. Its more like playing everyday with other people who all like the same sandbox.

I want to thank Vicki for her generous spirit in hosting us. I also would like to thank Bev from 44th Street Fabrics. One day she once reached out to pull me up, I grabbed on tight. She hosted my first giveaway and because of that my blog grew fast and I felt like I belonged. I am forever grateful for her lovely, kind and cheerful soul. Stop by her blog and take a look at her work. She is also incredibly talented!
Bev's Tabletop Farmer's Wife Blocks- aren't' they just so amazing!?!

Well, thank you for stopping by! Don't forget to leave a comment and contact information. If you don't want to leave your email on my blog, you can "convo" me via my Etsy shop Fiberluscious.

Good Luck to you all!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Vintage Charm

Perhaps it was my grandma's influence on my life, but I love vintage!

How do you like that vintage tomato and those adorable trims, (above) from SimplyStephy on Etsy
From sweet buttons to feed sack cottons I love them all. When I first saw the 1930's reproduction fabrics in my local quilt shop I gathered as many patterns and colors as I could. They were perfect for my work. They bring back so many fond memories. Now I wasn't quite born in the 30's but my grandma and mom were and they gave me a love for all things bright, simple with that certain "home sweet home" feeling.

Here is my 1930's Apple Pincushion which features sweet red and white 1930's fabrics.

Well, reproductions are nice and all, but there is nothing like a true vintage linen.

Hand crocheted doilies are one of my greatest addictions! I want them all. Having crocheted for a very long time, it's easy to appreciate the many hours it must take to create those little beauties. I use vintage linens in my work whenever possible.
Here a pincushion using a vintage doily-
I recently ordered these from SimplyStephy on Etsy. Oh I just can't wait to dig into these! By the way, she is a dear to work with. I contacted her when I missed out on a few items I saw in her shop. When I went to order them they were gone! My loss, or so I thought. We chatted a bit about what I needed and the very next day she listed these beauties. What a sweetheart. This is why Etsy is my first stop when I'm looking for something unique and wonderful.

You can't have these. They are mine. but take a look at these linens and buttons! Your are just going to have to stop by her shop if you love vintage.

I moved this fall and much to my dismay I left behind a great antique mall. 3 floors of affordable wonderful vintage wonders. Hours would pass as I walked from booth to booth, reminiscing, imagining and soaking up oodles and gobs of nostalgia. I always walked out with a shopping bag filled with linens, aprons, vases and other fun things. I once found this amazing baby quilt there. Its completely hand embroidered!
I'll have to make the hour long drive some day soon. Its a wonderful thing to find lovely vintage items at affordable prices. I sold this quilt as is. I wanted to let a quilter have their way with this beautiful textile. I can only imagine what it could become in the right hands.

I have a wish that some day someone will come across one of my handmade items and feel the same love I feel for the things I discover from the past. I hope they see that I loved what I do. Handmade items always tell a story if you take the time to see what the maker was trying to say. I hope that the joy I feel when I finally finish an embroidered pincushion top. When I fill an order for someone special I always feel as if I reached across many miles and touched someone's heart. That is sincerely what I feel.

I just shipped this item to a lovely lady. She shared with me a part of how she was feeling after some significant losses she had survived. Having had similar experiences, I just knew I had to put a bit extra into her piece. So I added her favorite colors and a few images that meant something special for her. Here is what we came up with-
She was thrilled.
This is a bit of what she said about her pincushion- "Oh, I cannot thank you enough......Really ....... It took my breath away! You even put my little precious Chick-a-Dee in there. What a LABOR OF LOVE! I will NEVER let this out of my sight! The colors were perfect. I could never imagined that it would turn out like this! You created what was is in my heart!.....almost as if you had known me ...ALL My Life!..and you REALLY KNEW MY HEART!"
I just have to cry again thinking of how happy I felt that I took the time to create something unique for someone special.

Now, all of my customers are special and I have to tell you that I wish I could invite them all to coffee one day. It would be a very happy day for me as I love that they appreciate my efforts and that they take time to chat with me about what they want and how they feel. What a job I have!

Well, now that I have gotten all mushy, which I often do. I hope that I have inspired you to go out and find something from the past. Bring it into today. With it you will find something amazing as you combine your talent with someone from many days gone by. I'd like to think that they smile down upon us as we breath new life into their hand work. Can you just imagine how amazing the whole thing is when you think of the big picture!

Its a wonderful world indeed.

I received my order from Simply Stephy today. OH MY! Everything was so beautiful and super exceeded my expectations! Where do I start? The feedsack quarters are amazing. They are brilliant and so inspiring. I just can't wait to play with them. I'm going to have to order more, because I know I will have a hard time cutting into them. You know that feeling. I can't imagine letting them sit because they feel "too precious". They just have to be enjoyed!
Stephanie was so sweet from my initial inquiry to filling my order. She even added a few goodies to the package. I was so happy I was giddy as I dove into my package.
I also ordered some beads from Enchanting Beads. They also came so quickly and the quality was excellant. If you are thinking of toying with making your own beaded pins or do jewelry with flower beads. Give this shop a try. I couldn't be happier!
Heck, it was Christmas around here today. I also received new readers. I've been struggling with my vision and finally decided to spoil myself with some snazzy new glasses. They were all totally cute. I'm really styling today!

Well, I hope you decide to try Etsy, especially some of my favorite shops. I think you will feel happy you did!
Here are a few of my favorite shops-

CheswickCompany- Amazing pincushion and primitive craft supplies, patterns and emery
SimplyStephy- vintage linens, doodads, buttons and supplies.
Cynthia Crane Pottery- fun ceramic platters, mugs, buttons and more. She also has a fun art shop.
Enchanted Beads- Pretty jewelry supplies and beads.
CraftyWoolFelt- felt by the yard, roll, felted balls and other fun crafting items
AGardenOfRoses- fabrics with rose prints in so many colors, styles and shades.
EdgewoodGardenStudio- Beautiful hand dyed wool roving and wool yarns. Really, really beautiful.
ChadQuilt- Lovely silk quilts. Check out her Zibbet store for great deals on silk, dupioni and velvet.
BobbiThisNThat- Great selection of beads of every shape and style.
BabyCricket- Sweet monster slippers and fun booties and such for little adventurers

There are more, but I better get to work! Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!!!

I wish you the very best, the very happiest...

I wish you...

Fearless... giggle inducing... that tingle in your soul kind of creativity.
I know it is inside you as much as I feel it inside myself.
Let it thrive, grow and become who you are as an artist and a creator.

This is the year we make that masterpiece...the best thing we ever made... the most original, wonderful thing that came from

This is the year we put our inner fire front and center in our lives!
I know the dishes need to be done and we probably should start the laundry, but FIRST, lets begin working on that idea you had yesterday.

You know, the one you had in the shower, when you didn't have a pen or pencil to write it down. Did you let that idea go? Did you write over it with a grocery list? Its time to keep those ideas burning in your heart until they grow and become more complex, more real.

This is the year we turn ideas into

This is the year we stop making excuses and put ourselves a little higher, no, on top of the priority list for a change!
I admit, I think I am the most selfish person in my life. I fought hard to create little pretty things even when there semed to be little suppport from others. It took a few financial crisises to realize that my pretty little things actually purchased groceries and paid a few bills. Others may not understand what drives you to sew, to paint, to create. That doesn't matter. The only person that counts is You.
You will find that if you are loved, those who care for you will begin to see now deeply the need to create lives in you. If you are as lucky as I am perhaps they may even build you shelves for your fabric stash. (It feels so good to know I don't have to hide it anymore!) It was worth the fight.

Give yourself permission to leave your own unique mark on the beautiful canvas we know as .....
After all, isn't our life our best and most precious creation?

This is the year we stop pinning and start getting pinned! You know what I mean.
While I love to be inspired by other's creativity, I feel its more important to
So when it comes to Pinterest you may have to set a timer on your computer time. After an hour, turn off the computer and begin your own project.
Gather pins that inspire your work.

Do yourself a big favor. While you are pinning a great tutorial, click on the artists blog or website. Go ahead and copy the template or pattern right away and file it away where you can find it. You won't have to spend the time later to find the project again and then look for the pattern. For every hour you spend searching, you could be spending that time stitching. I think I've eaten away enough hours on Pinterest to actually sew that quilt I dream of making. So when it comes to Pinterest...

Pin with it...plan it....produce it.

For heavens sake, its not about how many pins you collect or how big your boards are. Its about the way one person inspires another. Its about devouring all of those beautiful little images, allowing them to swim around amongst your own ideas and allowing the whole darn beautiful mess to spill out and become your wonderful work.

So stop pinning and

Most Importantly. please get out of your own way. You do deserve to spend your time on things you love.
Push yourself away from the computer and place yourself in front of your fabric stash. Now there is an inspiring place to dream.
Be your own best cheerleader. Stop your negative talk and infuse your inner thoughts with a lot of "atta girl! or great try! or you did it!"
Remember its all a journey... a process... an opportunity to learn something new! There are no failures in creative play. Its plain and simple..don't forget to

I feel incredibly blessed to have you all stop by and read my blog. I love feeling connected to people like myself. Whether you leave a comment or just stop by to see what I'm up to...I just feel honored to have been a part of something bigger than myself.

So, please stop on back! I have big plans for this year, starting with my giveaway that starts on Jan 22nd.
See you soon!