Sunday, June 27, 2010


I've been away from blogging for awhile due to 'the unusual Spring' which is, I've discovered, the cause of the bug plague that I've been dealing with for the last four weeks!  It is still ongoing, but I have hopes that when our summer rains come, the bugs will go!  Banish!  Be Dead! 

I learned too, thanks to a friend introduced to me by Sharon Garmize, Neva, that these bugs are called FALSE CHINCH BUGS!  My internet searches have revealed that these particular bugs are swarming all over the Western US, and Southern CA has them particularly bad! 

Today, I bought a product that I am hoping will help me in my battle just to keep them at bay!!  It is called Ecosmart, and is a nontoxic pesticide safe to be around children and pets.  That works for me, and I hope it works for the bugs too!

So..enough about them, and now about me!  Some time ago, I entered a little quilt contest at, where the challenge was to take a photo of a swan with her nest of eggs and create a small quilt inspired by the photo.  I did just that...Here is my quilt entry again:

And even though it is certain that I am not going to be winning this competition, which ends tomorrow, based on the highest number of votes received by an entry (I do not KNOW enough people to solicit votes from!),  I loved the process of creating the quilt and want to do more.  I also decided to put  the design on needlepoint canvas.  Here is the painted canvas:

Naturally, I have to stitch it now.  I envision it stitched with silk ribbons, beads, metallics, overdyed threads.  I also envision using it as a birth announcement for a granddaughter who will be turning 4 her next birthday, and who, like all my grandchildren, have been sadly needlepoint neglected. 

So, in the moments when I'm not hosing down the outside walls of my studio with soapy water, vacuuming the interior walls, countertops, floors, window sills, cracks, crevices, nooks, crannies, desktops, table tops, bookshelves, crying, cursing, and complaining, I've begun to stitch on this piece.  Stitching has been my only sanity!  Here are a few little views.  Not much to show so far, but I have big plans!

                                      The Water:  2 ply Waterlilies, 1 ply Kreinik Holoshimmer

                     Plants:  So far...I'm using 1 strand Wildflowers and decorative stitches.

The whole swan theme is really a charming one, I think.  And as always happens, when I am designing something, I start to see similar things showing up all around me!  Just recently, I was at Home Goods, and look what I found!  A whole display of beautiful little swans who looked like MY swans!  I was tempted, but did not buy any.   I LOVE the large beautiful Soup Tureen!  But, it is sooo impractical!  I DO love it though!

Maybe these are little jam jars? Any suggestions for uses other than foods?  Maybe a jewelry container? 

And look at this adorable little friend!  (see what I mean about seeing 'my' ideas AFTER I implement them?)

To add to all the swan fun, on Saturday, I met my sister for lunch at an antique mall.  We browsed amongst vintage treasures for a little while before we had to both get back to work.  I kept an eye out for swans.  My oh my...they were a popular item in past times!  Here are a few images of, mostly, vases and candy dishes.  Truly, very charming creatures, these swans!

Would like to see this vase filled with pink tulips!

Sorry you have to crank your head sideways to see this pair!  Can you see their reflection in the water?
   This guy's neck is naturally cranked!
Another pretty pink and blue flower vase.  I like it!

And get a load of this one!  Doesn't it look just like the Home Goods variety!  Of course, this makes me think the HG's one is a knock off of perhaps some famous and valuable ceramic artist.  I need to go take another gander.  (an appropriate word to apply to swans, don't you think?)

I have more, but at the risk of being boring, I'll end up with one final image.  This is not of a swan, but I loved it just the same because it displays the water features of my swan's abode:  Velvety water lilies, cattails, shimmering water.  This crane is also very happy living in this pond.  I just bet there are swans there too!

Hope your summer is bringing you lots of stitching happiness, swans or otherwise, and certainly, NO PESTS!