Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Tree wall-hanging and Project Perfection

Christmas Tree wall-hanging by janellcl
Christmas Tree wall-hanging, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Playing around with Christmas fabrics that were stuffed away for 'next year'. These are so happy and whimsical! Perfect for a little Christmas tree wall-hanging. I drew a simple tree outline on my fabric and free-motion stitched it with variegated thread and a fancy stitch. Then added strings of bead lights! The star isn't finished but it will by soon. Just in time to hang in the kitchen for Christmas Eve.

Sometimes I worry too much about the perfect design or perfect stitch. Because of that I don't always even start a project. Confident that I'll do something wrong or 'waste' the fabric. Lately I've been much more willing to just start and see where I end up. Nothing in my stash is really so precious that I need to worry about destroying it.

Do you have project perfection anxiety???? Let's make a New Year's resolution to just dare to start that new project!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Cookies!

Christmas Cookies=2010 43 by janellcl
Christmas Cookies=2010 43, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Jo-our baby sister-looks like she is concentrating on this cut out cookie. Even though getting ready for cookie decorating can be a pain-the end result of frosting and decorating with family and friends is wonderful.

Last year Jeanne hosted a cookie party at the Barn. Three tables were set up and the decorating began. Everyone who attended had fun as our fingers got stickier and our stories a bit wilder. What a good idea for a "girls night out" gathering.

This year Jeanne hosted an Open House and presented us each with 2 dozen unfrosted cookies-ready to decorate. Again, a great idea for girlfriends of all ages. What's your idea for sharing Christmas magic with your BFF's???

Monday, December 12, 2011

Packer Yarn!

Packer Yarn! by janellcl
Packer Yarn!, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.
Who knew there was Packer Yarn? Not me. While at Yarns By Design, in downtown Neenah, WI, I stumbled across this awesome yarn. It is hand-dyed by Lorna's Laces in a Shepherd Sock blend of Merino and Nylon--perfect, of course, for socks.

I had to get a skein and have started my pair of socks. Easy peasy simple pattern on multiple needles-knit during Sunday's game against the Raiders. Did I mention that the Packers are now 13-0? Hmmmm...must have slipped my mind.

Anyway, this is exciting and I can't wait to wear these socks. Perhaps during the post-season games?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Collage on canvas

Collage on canvas by janellcl
Collage on canvas, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.
I've been trying different things lately and the most recent is this collage on a prepared canvas. I used acrylics, India ink, scrap paper, fabric and glitter. I worked on it in three sessions-finishing up last night at 11:30.

Right now it is hanging in the kitchen. Jerry said he has to process the whole thing-but it is hanging there for all to see.

Can't wait to do the next!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Decorations going up!

Coaster designs 6 by janellcl
Coaster designs 6, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Every year it's special to open and unwrap the Christmas decorations. Even if family circumstances have changed and there are new stresses in daily life, the memories associated with the little ornaments and decorations come flooding back-both happy and sad.

I remember that I bought this little shepherd/angel while on a business trip to Nashville. I was with a business associate visiting stores and found the display of Fontanini creches. We were both cranky because we thought we'd miss our flight because of bad weather in both Nashville and home in Wisconsin.

I had found the larger angel statue quite a few years back. When I saw this little angel holding the lamb I knew he had to join my display.

So every year I unwrap these two angels and remember shopping in Nashville, wanting to be home-not traveling on business, finding this little angel in a creche scene and knowing that he would fit into my home.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Jo's Christmas Prayer Flag

IMG_0224.jpg by turtleboy2010
IMG_0224.jpg, a photo by turtleboy2010 on Flickr.

Thoughts on crafting

So there were 6 of us at Craft Night at my house Monday night. Seemed like everyone had fun-most telling was that they decided that 2 1/2 hours wasn't long enough! Next time the thought is for a full day-or most of a day. Something very casual. Set everything up, share tools and paper, etc. and, of course, have good snacks to nibble on!

That sounds perfect to me. I think we have a good set up at our house-but it could be at another's too.

Jeanne wondered via Facebook how much fun I had because I really didn't do anything myself. I was 'hostessing' and was trying to make sure everyone had what they needed (or wanted) to play with and was trying to share some new techniques I've recently picked up. And, you know, I did have fun. Even though I didn't have a beautiful prayer flag to hang for the season, or some gift tags or cards---it was fun helping and sharing.

And perhaps, most of all, it was fun watching the creative juices get stirred up and jump from head to head. At one point it looked like we could actually see the gears connecting in Mary L's brain-and the results were pretty amazing. And Jenny tried some stamping for the first time-and got nice results!

Sometimes it's about helping and watching more than actually doing. I had fun watching the sparks light up and friends who had not done these types of things get pretty excited about 'playing'. It WAS fun.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Craft night-Christmas ideas!

IMG_0229-Edit.jpg by turtleboy2010
IMG_0229-Edit.jpg, a photo by turtleboy2010 on Flickr.

A fun evening spent playing with glue, glitter, and stamps. Six of us spent the evening trying to decide what to do next. From prayer flags to tags to whatever you could think of-it was a fun and relaxing evening of good conversation and good friends. More photos to follow!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Decorations to kick off the season!

Dec. Wedding-Radisson 101 by janellcl
Dec. Wedding-Radisson 101, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Who knew it was December already?

So who knew it was really December??? Not me-I've been in a fog I guess and, even though I celebrated Thanksgiving with family, just didn't focus on DECEMBER! But somehow I have been plugging along on some Christmas presents and some crafty type things that should help celebrate the season.

Tonight is a Craft Nite at my house-friends, family, good conversation and LOTS of glitter! What could possibly get me more in the mood? Oh wait...must have Christmas music ready to go.  I'll feature some pics of the results of tonight and promise to be better about blogging.

After all, Santa is watching me to make sure I am nice...not naughty!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Blues beaded bracelets

blues beaded bracelets by janellcl
blues beaded bracelets, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.
While we wait to get our Christmas things uploaded, I thought I'd share more of the delightful beaded cuff bracelents we've been working on. I took a selection of beads and 4 new bracelets along with me on a business trip this week. It was fun sitting in the hotel room at night stringing beads and thinking about who might end up wearing each bracelet.

Jeanne has been keeping her eyes open when she stops in thrift stores for old brooches and buckles to use for embellishment. Don't you just love the blue sparkley brooch we used for the middle bracelet here?

All three of these bracelets are made from an old quilt. The quilt was in terrible shape but we salvaged as many pieces as we could. Some we left the original batting in tact but on a few we had to remove it as it was just too lumpy to lay smoothly when worn. I am sure the quilter would be amazed to see where her beloved quilt ended up!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Christmas patterns about to be updated!

Jeanne is hard at work getting a couple of new Christmas patterns posted in our shop.  Unfortunately, she is pulling out some hair as she works through some upload issues. I keep telling her to 'breathe...breathe...' but she isn't really listening. Frustrations at least make her keep drinking coffee as she mumbles bad words at the laptop!

We will let you know when the new pattern 12 Ornaments of Christmas is available for purchase. We love this pattern and had a great deal of fun designing it.

What are you working on for Christmas? We'd love to hear about your Christmas present plans.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bead Bracelet on Etsy

Bead Bracelet 2 by janellcl
Bead Bracelet 2, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.
We brought home a few beaded bracelets from Spain. (Being over-achievers, we made a couple extra!) After talking about what to do for Christmas presents (Emily, Molly, Liz, and Heather...yes, we're talking about yOU!) we decided to post a couple for sale in our Etsy Shop.

Take a peek over there if you'd like.

Monday, October 17, 2011

First free motion flower with beads

Here is the first attempt at free motion quilting. It was fun and I liked picking out the variegated thread and seeing what I could do. I have 2 more done so now need to figure out how to finish them. Jeanne suggested maybe a green frame for this one once I trim it up. Hmmm????

Friday, October 14, 2011

Another week but so much done!

Ok-so it's been a week since I looked at the blog. BUT-in that time we have done alot.

1.  I spent some of almost every day in my art journal trying to capture some of the memories of the Spain trip.
2.  I found some new sepia brush/pens and have been playing with shading. (Will share results soon!)
3.  Met with Jeanne and have a plan to get some finished bead cuff bracelets uploaded to our Etsy shop this weekend. We love these and have 5 to offer for sale now. More to come.
4.  Jeanne found a heart-stopping item to try to figure out how to make. Can't say more but did I ever tell you that we have our Great-grandma's button box???? Hmmm....what could you do with buttons???
5.  Went through the 653 pictures I took in Spain and made a folder of the buildings I love. Uploaded that to flickr.
6.  Need to now go back through the 653 pictures and pull out the 'people' ones and get those all uploaded.

Whew-I am a bit tired just thinking of all this.

7.  Last night I went down to the studio and actually started putzing around with some free-motion quilting while Jerry was watching the news. More on this very soon. I think I may be in love with something else!

What have YOU been up to?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Window magic

DSC01424 by janellcl
DSC01424, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Everywhere we looked there were windows full of magic. Windows in my part of the midwest just don't look like these. The combination of ages old stones and wrought iron are so beyond vinyl siding and simple windows that just slide up to open. Most small balconies had some kind of plant or flower adding to the delight. And, of course, who can beat the light???

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Streets of Denia

DSC01390 by janellcl
DSC01390, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

We are BACK! Two glorious weeks in Denia-spent with family and new friends experiencing all that the Mediteranean Sea has to offer. There was some time spent crafting and shelling and just relaxing. We'll share the story of our trip with you via pictures of people and places we loved.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Dark bracelets-hand beaded

Dark bracelets-hand beaded by janellcl
Dark bracelets-hand beaded, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.
I'm not sure what part of making these beaded bracelets was most enjoyable: picking out the old quilt pieces, selecting beads and embellishments, or the actual assembly.

Anyway you look at it, they were fun to make. We hope they bring smiles to family and friends in Spain!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Beaded bracelet

2011-08-29 15:41:40 +0000 by janellcl
2011-08-29 15:41:40 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.
Moving along with projects! This is a trial of the new beaded bracelet that I love. Simple to do with two rectangles of left over fabric, zig-zag and decorative stitches. Then simple strings of beads are added for embellishment and two snaps to close. Lovely and fun to make-all the qualifications for a new favorite project.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

New thought for a design?

IMG_5577 by janellcl
IMG_5577, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

These are the stone carvings over the main door to the Holy Hill Basilica near Milwaukee, WI. I am in love with the entwined lines and stylistic flowers. I think I am going to print some of these out and try to use them as the border of an embroidery project. Hmmmm...what do you think?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New designs begin!

2011-08-18 17:47:27 +0000 by janellcl
2011-08-18 17:47:27 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

I have made a series of six little sketches of ladies/girls that I am going to develop into a new patterns. These little ladies have been fun to draw-simple lines with different dresses on each one. I'll keep you posted as I work through them!

Via Flickr:
Uploaded with Flickup on iPhone.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Watercolor class

2011-08-17 18:09:57 +0000 by janellcl
2011-08-17 18:09:57 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

I started a watercolor sketching class. Oh the fun of an online class with an active forum. The first assignment was to draw keys. I may just have to stitch these next. The color wash background turned out better than I thought.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Jeanne's Prayer Flag

DSC01162 by janellcl
DSC01162, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

I had a bunch of friends/family over Wednesday evening to try their hand at making prayer flags. There is an explanation of what they are, and how they can be used at

Once we got settled in with stamps, ink pads, glimmer mist, stencils and boxes of ribbons, yo yo's, and buttons we were ready!

This is Jeanne's flag-stamps, flowers, ink, and a Wheel of Wisdom. She over-laid the whole thing with sparkly netting that added a lovely fairy-like effect. The base was simple, unwashed muslin. Her final touch was the feathery ribbon to flutter in the breeze.

It was a magical evening-we made our flags in around 2 hours. And one friend, Lori, actually finished beading a complete necklace to wear to a wedding this weekend. What fun!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Green Bay Botanical Gardens

IMG_5246 by janellcl
IMG_5246, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Had a lovely time visiting the Green Bay Botanical Gardens on Saturday. Spent a little over 2 hours wandering taking photos and sketching. Cool, early morning with a slight hint of clouds-perfect for photography. I think this cottage may turn into a new stitchery design!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Doodling zentangle fun

2011-08-04 15:28:58 +0000 by janellcl
2011-08-04 15:28:58 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

I have also discovered zentangles-a form of meditative doodling that was developed a couple of years ago. Who knew my love of coloring would get a boost when I am 57 years old???

What do you think about converting this into an embroidery pattern? I might want to applique the circle pieces and then stitch the dangling lines. Hmmmm..must share with Jeanne and see what she thinks!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mixed Media Collage

2011-08-02 17:38:27 +0000 by janellcl
2011-08-02 17:38:27 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Over the weekend I spent some time working on prayer flags again. But this time I used some copies of old family photos! The three kids are me (blondie!), our oldest brother, and Jeanne. I think this was about 1960...aren't we sweet?

I made the flag out of old muslin-not really good for quilting or hand-stitching. It is very rough. I didn't wash it or anything-just measured out a 6" X 10" piece, folded over aboout 1 1/2" and pressed that down. Then I pulled out a couple of my favorite stamps about photography, inked the paper photo and used Mod Podge to paste it down. (I covered the photo to make sure it was a little sturdier.) Then I dug into my selvedges and picked out two to stitch down. Finished by hemming the top so I could thread twine through it and it was ready to hang! Nothing is hemmed or finished-just raw edges. (That is HARD for me to do!!!)

What a fun way to use up left over items, my sewing machine, and some stamps, glue, whatever. Give it a try!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Playing around with creatively

2011-07-23 19:39:13 +0000 by janellcl
2011-07-23 19:39:13 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Do you sometimes just want to play with something different? Since I have been doing some blog surfing I have discovered the world of art journaling. Who knew playing with paint, ink, stamps, and leftover fabric would be so much fun???

Here is my most recent experiment. I love the colors and the use of brown ink with the stamps. Might have to try this on fabric next. What do you do when you want to play???

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Adam and Tania's quilt-detail!

IMG_5112 by janellcl
IMG_5112, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

When we decided on gold metallic thread I knew we were enhancing this quilt's jewel tones. I had always envisioned using metallic thread but knew I didn't want to hand quilt with that. The machine quilting by Jenny Patterson of Cattails Quilting turned out so fantastic!

Adam and Tania's quilt

IMG_5099 by janellcl
IMG_5099, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

The deep jewel tones of this batik quilt are marvelous. I could look at it all day. Simple traditional pattern that just glows with the fabric selection.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Quilt finished!

I started this batik Courthouse step quilt about 3 years ago. The blocks were part of a kit for a wall-hanging. I think! Can't really remember! I got the top put together and decided it would be perfect for my nephew and his new bride. Unfortunately, it was going to be too big to ship to Spain. (They live in Spain.)

So I put it on the top shelf in my workroom and decided I would finish it when I could take it there myself.

The Spain trip is scheduled for September 18th-October 2nd. Can't wait!

So out came the quilt top and it went to the quilter lady with me. Metallic gold thread for the back and a variegated thread for the back. It turned out fantastic. I can't wait to take it to Spain!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Multi-media Prayer Flags in the Garden

2011-07-04 18:00:50 +0000 by janellcl
2011-07-04 18:00:50 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

I spent some time this weekend playing in my sewing room. I've been reading about prayer flags-or wish flags- made out of whatever you have around you. So I decided to try to make one and have fallen in love with this project!

All you need is an 5" X 11" piece of left over fabric-muslin or cotton or whatever. Fold over one end 3 inches and sew in place so it is 5 X 8 and you can thread cord or twine through the opening. Then look around you and start creating!

I chose one word for each-my Home flag has left over fabric from the Wizard of Oz fabric line, rick rack, buttons and a yo yo sewn on. I wrote HOME in big letters using some acryclic paint-markers would work too. Then take a piece of cord/twine and go tie it to a tree, trellis, whatever. Every time the wind blows the thought goes with it! What a fun project.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Kids and Grandma's Quilt

Kids and Grandma's Quilt by janellcl
Kids and Grandma's Quilt, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Summer Time with Quilts!

The Fourth of July weekend always makes me feel like summer is going too fast. But this year we've had so much cold and rain that it's only just beginning! We are planning sleepovers with the grandkids, walks through area Farmer's Markets, and time spent just hanging out. Perfect!!!

Lately I've been seeing some great pictures from my family of our grandkids. Besides the great looking kids (not too biased, am I?), I've been seeing some of my quilts in use. I don't think anyone knows how that makes me feel. Each of the quilts I have gifted to my family was made specifically for the person it went to. Every quilt was hand stitched with thoughts of that person and hopes for their future. Whether they were wedding quilts or new baby quilts-they were stitched with love. To see them in use shows me the love continues.

How do you wrap your family and special friends in love? We have designed a lovely, simple quilt called Care Quilt that is perfect for fast assembly for a special person. You can see it here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Teacups for a summer party

IMG_3833 by janellcl
IMG_3833, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Sometimes it's great fun to get together with the important women in your life to enjoy summer. I was dusting (hard to believe, I know!) my china cupboard and realized that I haven't used any of my special cups lately. This cup was our grandma's-she had a great collection of china cups and saucers. We've shared some of them among the grand-daughters. This is one of my favorites.

I was talking with our little sister this weekend and we think we should start getting together one afternoon a month to talk about crafting and whatever else we think of. I think when we set that date I am going to pull out some of Grandma's china. It will make the gathering just a little more special.

What do you do to make a craft gathering special?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Visits with friends

IMG_3812 by janellcl
IMG_3812, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

We got together last night with a friend who lives in WA. She is a brilliant watercolor artist. Our little sister couldn't join us but sent along a couple of her fabric collages for show and tell. her work is delightful! the conversation jumped from topic to topic-fabric, gesso. How much water to use as a base for watercolor. Plus the sharing of updates about kids, grandkids, and live. Thanks Julie!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pale golden rose

IMG_4473 by janellcl
IMG_4473, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

I want to find fabrics that give me the feeling that these flowers do. The pale golden rose has to be central but the coral of the begonias makes it pop. Guess I should print off this picture and take it with me this week when I go fabric shopping. The colors make me feel calm-maybe it's just that I'd like a nap this afternoon?

What colors are inspring you from your garden?

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Coaster designs 9 by janellcl
Coaster designs 9, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Still get caught up in these fabrics. I think it is the hot pink and chocolate. I went from buying a charm pack to a jelly roll to the 10" squares. What fun.

What charm packs have been so great they pulled you on to more yardage? Tell all!!

Lighthouse Walk 2011

IMG_4706 by janellcl
IMG_4706, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

We spent a lovely weekend in Door County exploring one of the lighthouses there. Taking 2 ferry rides, we spent most of the day wandering around Rock Island. We enjoyed exploring the Potawatomie Lighthouse and the old boathouse that sits waiting for visitors.

In honor of the visit, I used one of our nautical motifs to commemorate the 3rd year of Lighthouse Walking with our friends. Now I need to finish my own pillow!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

LIghthouse design

IMG_4706 by janellcl
IMG_4706, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

We've had this little lighthouse design sitting with some other nautical motifs in our book of 7 day of the week designs. It was just perfect to use for a small pillow.

This is the third year in a row that we have joined friends for a weekend in Door County Wisconsin to tour the lighthouses. I couldn't resist making this surprize for them when I found lighthouse fabric at a quilt shop. Easy and simple to assemble-it is the perfect gift to commemorate 3 years of good times!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New beginnings

IMG_4512 by janellcl
IMG_4512, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.
The shift from spring to summer means change to me-putting away the heavy quilts. Bringing out the chenille bedspread. Taking down the heavy curtains and replacing them with light, translucent floral sheers. And, at the same time, so much stays the same.

Still working on shifting our patterns over to a new digital e-pattern company. Check out the great site We have 10 patterns available for download there right now. We plan to move over many of our other patterns as soon as we can make the conversion. There are some other great pattern companies represented there too!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The joy of variegated thread!

IMG_3925 by janellcl
IMG_3925, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.
This is a surprise quilt for my oldest grand-daughter. Her birthday is June 20th and I think it is time for another quilt. At 13 she deserves to step up to another quilt level-no more cartoon characters, no more Disney princesses (sob!!), but not yet completely grown up. So this wild and scrappy Log Cabin seems just the trick. The variegated thread used for the machine quilting is perfect. I am so thrilled with the machine quilting on this-it is wonderful to work for a quilter who respects what I do and is only focused on enhancing my work.

Jenny Patterson of Cattails Machine Quilting is so easy to work with. It makes finishing a quilt even more fun! Check her out at

Sunday, May 15, 2011


IMG_4473 by janellcl
IMG_4473, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

A special walk through the gardens of the Paine Musuem and Gardens in Oshkosh, WI

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Variegated thread for Easter

IMG_3927 by janellcl
IMG_3927, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Lovely purple and magenta make me think of Easter eggs and Easter bright things! This are the borders on a bright log cabin quilt I made for my granddaughter, Breannen. She will get it on her 12th birthday in June. So far, it is a surprise. The machine quilting with fantastic variegated thread was done by Jenny Patterson of Cattails Machine Quilting. I think it looks perfect. You'll see more when I get the binding on it.

We hope everyone has a great Easter weekend spent with family and friends-whatever holiday you celebrate-we hope Spring brings you hope and joy!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Things pattern pillow

Things pattern pillow by janellcl
Things pattern pillow, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Ellie Werner sent us this great story about making our Things pattern: They are all for birthday gifts for friends and family who have sisters including my two sIsters birthdays both in June. I've already mailed 3 for gifts to my sister-in-law and two nieces. They loved them and they are just so much fun to sew and it's a project I can get started and finished in a week or two instead of the weeks and months the time it usually takes for me to sew a quilt together start to finish.Thank you so much for the interest in my finished pillows it is myfirst attempt at something other than quilting which I've been doing for about the past 14 years. I usually work in my sewing room during the afternoons on my quilts and then I enjoy hand sewing in the evenings while watching TV with my husband and cats and dogs. Usually I am sewing a quilt top together so it's a nice change to sew a rework square. I used fusible webbing on the back of the completed redwork square and then used batting and muslimfor the next two layers just like the three layers used for quilting a blanket. Then I quilted around the rework square, cut the backing and sewed around the sides leaving an opening for stuffing it and then used a quick whip stitch to close the opening. (check our web site for the pattern!)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Japan trip 2006

Japantrip 068 by janellcl
Japantrip 068, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Watching the natural disaster in Japan keeps me looking back at photos taken during our fantastic Japanese adventure in 2006. We were invited to teach redwork embroidery at the Intl. Hobby Association convention. Clover Mfg. was our main sponsor-what a treat to meet some of the executives and their great staff. We were treated like royalty. But, more important, had the wonderful experience of sharing our love of embroidery with others just like us! We were also given lessons in some of the Japanese stitching techniques by our students. Our prayers continue to go out to Japan.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


lanapelanashop by janellcl
lanapelanashop, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Sometimes we have to brag about the work of family and friends. This is one of those times! Lana Pelana is a friend of our son/nephew who lives in Valencia Spain. She makes the most delightful, whimsical little items. I had to immediately order a pink little camera necklace! Can't wait to wear it!

Check out her blog and find her on Etsy!

Monday, March 28, 2011

spring must be here soon!

flower photos 18 by janellcl
flower photos 18, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

One bouquet of tulips and I am so ready for Spring. Working with the brightest fabrics I can find and it's still not enough. This bouquet called out to me when I was grocery shopping. Funny how $6.99 for a dozen tulips can make you feel so good.

I did some work with my new flash and this worked. Played with the contrast in Aperture and this is what I end up with. I love it.

Red and White Quilts on Display in NYC

New Pattern!

Placemats 40 by janellcl
Placemats 40, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

We have been working on a series of placemat patterns. They go together FAST because we are using jelly rolls. But they can also be made from your scraps or a group of fat quarters. The embroideries are simple, too, and we had fun stitching them up! We'll be sharing some of the other designs this week. The pattern should be available for sale on our web site soon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring storms

I think we are supposed to be in Spring. At least that's what I heard. Right now we are expecting 3-5 inches of a snow/sleet mushy mixture. I'm not leaving the house-maybe not tomorrow either!  Thankfully there are enough projects in the house to keep me busy for a very long time.

We've been updating each of the product listings on our site. Jeanne is doing the bulk of the changing-what a good techie she is! It involves checking over every description and making updates for search engine optimization-that is how the search programs like Google, Yahoo and Bing find things when you ask them a question. Even though there seems to be no exact science to it, it must still be done right. Jeanne is doing it one product/pattern at a time. Go Girl!

We are also trying to figure out how to make our patterns all downloadable. We get the concept but converting them all into pdf files so they can be downloaded, and making sure the web site functions properly when you want a download-we need help with that. Looks like next week we will be able to offer  a couple of sweet designs for you to download in honor of Japan and our friends going through such terrible times. Stay tuned!

What are you working on now? something for Spring or are you thinking Christmas already???

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Study in pink roses for friends in Japan

STudy in pink roses 23 by janellcl
STudy in pink roses 23 a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Everyone's thoughts are with the people of Japan. Jeanne and I visited Tokyo in 2005 to attend the International Hobby and Craft Show. It was a marvelous experience-complete with our very sweet translator, Noriko. We were so relieved to hear from her that she and her family were not very affected by the terrible earthquake and tsunami on Friday.

But the devastation in the country cannot even be imagined yet. So very sad. I hope the beauty of these roses can serve as a hope for the future of a lovely country.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New Updated Look to our Web Site!

We are super excited with the new look on our web site! Click here to jump over to it. We decided to freshen up the colors, font, and layout. We hope you like it. We will be slowly making most of our patterns downloadable which we think will make it easier for you to start those new projects NOW! (That's how I am when I want to begin a new project!)

Let us know what you think please. There are some things for us to do yet-but we think the overall site will be easy to use and you can see our patterns even better than ever.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Journey to GA

2011-03-09 04:45:52 +0000 by janellcl
2011-03-09 04:45:52 +0000 a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Little panda bear is on a great adventure to Atlanta. He finally made it!

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Helis 15 by janellcl
Helis 15 a photo by janellcl on Flickr.
I started this mohair tam on the way up to Door County on Thursday. Easy to knit while Jerry drove. Easy to stick back in the bag-feels like air. On and off I knit over the weekend. I finished the hat Sunday morning and wore it back in the light snowfall. Perfect warmth-just covers my ears if I need and feels so light! With short hair it skips giving hat hair too badly! And fun to make.

What is one of your 'go-to' knitting patterns when you have a ball of mohair?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Art journaling

2011-02-26 15:00:19 +0000
Originally uploaded by janellcl
In spite of all the unfinished projects that sit waiting for me in my sewing room, I found another great project to begin! Four days up north with Jerry was the perfect setting to try my hand at making a scrapbook. I bought a kit for a journal at the local Archiver's store, made sure I had everything that I thought I would need, and sat down in the Great Room by the fireplace while it snowed outside.

What fun! I only got glue on my pants once and didn't cut myself even once. I started with a small photo album-I printed a handful of photos ahead of time so I would have some to embellish and put in. Turned out cute and was fun to figure it all out.

Then on the to the journal project. That involved making your own book and embellishing every page. I made pockets, attached a glassene pocket, and cut out little motifs to my heart's delight. What fun! I didn't bring any photos for this journal so did all the prep and now will have the fun of deciding what should go in it.

I think this will be a good addition of my list of crafts. I may take photos of the steps to finish my next quilt and use this type of journal as a way to capture what went into it's design and execution. Fun and productive!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Coasters

Coasters 2-19-2011 12
Originally uploaded by janellcl
We've been working on putting together some coasters that are the perfect gift. With snow storms again hitting our part of the country, we just can't stop working with bright fabrics and simple patterns. I think we both want Spring to arrive and so having a feeling of accomplishment when we finish this type of project-in new fabric-really helps.

What are you working on now?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bree and Grandma NYEve

Bree and Grandma NYEve
Originally uploaded by janellcl
So far we have had three great sleepovers with our two oldest grandkids. All three times I have been able to put together a craft project for Bree and Grandma to do. We've made great coasters, worked on our first jewelry project, and created Valentine's. I think all three were successful. We had interesting conversation along the way and I got to enjoy the way Bree's creativity came through in all three projects.

Part of the fun of this kind of event is that feeling of sharing my love of crafts with her. It's not necessarily the success of the project that I enjoy as much as the willingness to try something new. Of course, having something to give to her mom or a friend is a great bonus! What types of projects keep your kids/grandkids busy? I've got more sleepovers to plan for so I need some more ideas!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentine Girl

Originally uploaded by janellcl
We designed this pillow about 10 years ago. She is still the sweetest Valentine we have ever seen. Following the SunBonnet Sue tradition from applique quilting, she is offering her valentine wishes to you.

I have to made a Valentine box for work. We are doing a Valentine exchange here and tonight I think I will pull out all my scrapbook paper and stamps and get at this project. There may even be enough time to do something stitched. Any quick ideas you are willing to share???

Thursday, February 3, 2011

We need BRIGHTS!

Julia 4
Originally uploaded by janellcl
Not sure about your part of the world, but we are covered in snow and suffering through terrible wind chill negative degree temperatures. Who cares what the groundhog says, we definitely have lots of winter ahead of us.

In order to try to stay cheerful I went in my fabric stash and pulled out all the spring colors I could find. What delightful colors and designs are in the market right now. This collection just makes me think of spring! I can feel a placemat or two ready to be created. How about you?

What are you doing to counter the cold and grey days of winter 2011?