Wednesday, March 31, 2010

checking my travel calendar

It's a beautiful Virginia spring afternoon as I sit outside, watching the squirrels chase each other through the garden bulbs, catching glimpses of red cardinals as all the birds chat happily in the trees, and working on my summer travel calendar. The long-awaited trip to Bangkok is finally happening in May, but since my husband is now making a much quicker turnaround, it's undecided whether I'll get to traipse along. Two onerous days of flying in each direction for just three days in Bangkok may not work out. Although I hope to go, I know it's a huge expense to satisfy my curiosity. But when will I get another chance? Would you go?

If not, I'll just look forward to August, when my daughter-in-law has a business trip to Paris, is renting an apartment, and has invited me to spend the month with her there. I know, Paris is somewhat bereft of Parisiens in August, and many specialty stores close or change hands pour les vacances. But a cruise on the Seine or a visit to the Paris plage will add to the fun of strolling around with my camera in the company of so many other tourists. I'll have lots of time to add to my photo collection of interesting doors, for example. And the Marché aux Puces will undoubtedly be terribly crowded but nonetheless open. After being spoiled by wandering the smaller flea markets with Kaari in Toulouse last summer, I wonder whether I'll get lost in the Paris flea labyrinth? I'd be grateful for any tips you can share.

Meanwhile, there's always eBay. These beautiful old 1930's linen sheets, with matching monograms of my husband's and my initials, just arrived from Cheniers. Won't these ensure pleasant dreams of summer travels?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Young Queen Victoria page swap, part 1

Prompted by the recent release of the film The Young Queen Victoria, several friends and I joined in a book page swap to commemorate the young and feisty Queen who fell deeply in love with her handsome Prince Albert, ruled England for 60 years, and married her nine children to most of the ruling families of 19th-century Europe. We are each making pages to suit each other's book covers and theme, mailing just the pages we make rather than sending around the whole book. Every two weeks we mail off another page. Without seeing the books, however, it's been an interesting challenge figuring out what might work with their style.

Rita, my first swap partner, is a Texas redhead who loves greens, taupes, creams, and browns. Her book's theme "My Heart, the Loves of Young Queen Victoria" also honors Rita's own love of England. She included birds, flowers, fashion and interior decoration in her list, so I made this page for her book.

My super-talented Silver Bella "little sister" Robin was my second partner. As an avid fan of all things Marie Antoinette, she kept a little French in her book's theme of "Victoria's Fleurissent le Jardin." Since her preferred colors are pink, teal and cream, I made a "garden party" page with a ribbon trellis background and lots of ruffles for her book. Queen Victoria began the monarchy's tradition of inviting members of the public to the royal gardens for her annual garden party.

My most recent swap partner was Sue, a sweet generous friend who, lucky for me, lives nearby in MD. Sue and I saw the movie together when it appeared in our area, and we had fun thinking of ideas to include in our books. Sue is a history buff who had already researched young Queen Victoria and shared her fascination with me. For her book's theme "Destiny's Child," I used her soft palette of pinks, aqua, and green to make this page.

With three more swap partners to go, my next page is due soon. So much fun!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

the first day of spring


Such a lovely first day of spring! The sun is shining through the open windows, the curtains fluttering in the light breeze. This morning I planted my tender lettuces in their garden bed, and now I'm actually looking forward to cleaning up the many broken branches littering our yard. Hope you are enjoying a wonderful sunny day, too!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

boutique class at carol wingert's


Last Saturday, during my very rainy week in Phoenix, the sun shone brightly on the one day that mattered, Carol's all-day Heirloom Book class held in her back yard. Her first boutique event included all our supplies to make a springtime-inspired canvas book filled with vintage laces and buttons, flower-making techniques, and fabric transfers, with even more supplies presented in a white enamel lunch box to add to the surprise. Heather of Speckled Egg also gifted us with petite flowers for our books.

Carol's sample book (above).

Carol teaching in her garden.

Table mates Kim (above) and Maija (below).

Dayl and Teah (above); around the fish pond (below).

The lovely creative day included a leisurely lunch in her garden and home-baked goodies throughout the day. Below is one of my page spreads made in class Saturday. Carol's next boutique Heirloom Book event will be held in June. She will be announcing details and registration on her blog, so if you're interested in attending, keep checking there. :)


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

squares in progress

Tonight I hoped to be a little further along in my bedtime stitching, but practicing my chunky 6-ply satin stitch took longer than expected when I tried to fashion a shaded flower. I liked Jill's idea of letting her flower overlap the edges of the square, so I tried it too. Don't yet know what else I'll put in the green square. And apologies for the late night photography lighting.

Although I'll be out of town until early next week, I'm hoping to have a little late night hotel stitching time. :)

Monday, March 01, 2010

square one

For her first embroidered square during her birthday stitchalong, Amy of Inspire Co. stitched a beautiful little bluebird wearing a party hat! I just finished my first square, too, not quite as ambitious in design. I did copy her square's border stitch, although I'm not sure what stitch it is. :) Then I filled in with satin stitch and a cute little ladybug from French General's bead supply.

If you want to stitch along, or just check on all those who are participating, there's a growing blog list. Can't wait to see all the cute little squares!