Friday, August 10, 2012

Wild Log Cabin

IMG_5989 by janellcl
IMG_5989, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

I had ice cream with my oldest grand-daughter yesterday and talked about this quilt. I made it for her birthday and wasn't really sure if she liked it. (You know how that goes-when you think something should be perfect there are usually a few worries!) Turns out that she doesn't know if she likes the top better or the back. The back is a variegated fabric that shifts from blues to purples to soft mauves. The top is 'great' but the back makes her think of waves. So I guess that is good-either side works. Hmmmm...not sure how I feel about that because most of the work went into the top and the back is just fabric. But the quilt is being used and she knows it was stitched with love from Grandma-that's good enough for me!!!

Love these pillows.

DSC05997 by janellcl
DSC05997, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

The combination of the little yo yo button pillow with Sophie Goes Shopping makes me smile everytime I walk past my bed. I think it is Sophie's hat-or maybe just the buttons. Whatever-it's great.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Yo Yo Pillow!

DSC05993 by janellcl
DSC05993, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

We must have made these yo yo's quite a while ago and put them away for a special project. Somehow I spied them and they just seemed to need some buttons added.

Next thing I knew, I had made a little envelope pillow case for my 7 inch square pillow and settled down to watch NCIS!

All I needed was 16 yo yo's, 16 buttons, a piece of fabric 8" X 18" and a square pillow form. I like the vintage look and plan to make another right away for Jeanne. Maybe the next one will be bright neon yo yo's! I think I saw some in the studio.

My feeling of accomplishment was nice-taking things and combining them into something new. That's what it's all about!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Patriotic Hot Pad

DSC05972 by janellcl
DSC05972, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Digging around in my sewing studio I happened upon a bag of little red/white/and blue yo yo's all made up, just waiting for a project. In the same bag was a piece of flag fabric. Hmmmm....

Next thing I knew they had come together into a hot pad-just right to be sitting in the middle of my table on the 4th of July! Easy to assemble yo yo's using Clover's great yo yo makers, this project could adapted to any special date using fabric that suited the occasion. I love it!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sunflowers at Neenah Farmers' Market

2012-07-07 19:34:41 +0000 by janellcl
2012-07-07 19:34:41 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

I couldn't resist snapping a quick picture of these lovely sunflowers. I let the Iphone and Instagram select the effect and couldn't be happier. Happy Summer everyone!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Metal surprises

2012-05-08 18:10:54 +0000 by janellcl
2012-05-08 18:10:54 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Continuing my fun with simply made necklaces this week. This time I found two different grey matte necklaces and hooked them together to make the length I wanted. From there, I laid out all the various trinkets I have been accumulating over the last couple of months.

I especially love the glass/metal piece at the upper left in the photo. This is a two sided locket that you can put your own small pictures or graphics inside. The next two small dangling pieces are earring embellishments that a friend passed on to me. One is a green teardrop shop and the second is a circle with a purple teardrop hanging down. Lovely way to treasure a piece of jewely that has lost its mate.

I added a few other pieces and that was all I needed. I especially like the contrast in chains and the variety of items I hooked on. A few jump rings, a pliers and I was ready to go.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


New orchid from Jenny by janellcl
New orchid from Jenny, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

I've known Jenny for 46 years. Doesn't seem possible but that's right. Junior High-Senior High-college-dating-growing up?-first love-marriage-babies-and all the in between 'stuff' of life. I think we started exchanging yellow flowers sometime in college when we heard that yellow roses symbolized the color of friendship.

This lovely 'teacup' orchid found it's way to be today in recognition of another birthday and friendship that continues. We met at McDonald's for breakfast and the orchid brightened up whole place. Thanks Jenny-let's be friends forever!

Monday, April 30, 2012

New bracelet

New bracelet by janellcl
New bracelet, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Sunday was the better day of the weekend but I was still determined to sit at the table and work on an inside project. I pulled out all of my jewelry 'findings'-isn't that a good word for all the little things we find along the way? I recently stumbled upon a ribbon band at Michael's that had feathers tacked on. Really caught my eye so I grabbed it fast! (On sale for $1.99.)

I have fallen in love with the charms that have words stamped in them. They can be found in most scrapbook stores or Hobby Lobby and are part of Tim Holtz' selection of great little trinkets. The cogs are also Tim Holtz but the oriental coins aren't-I don't remember where I found them but love the different sizes.

I also found a good line of chains and trinkets called Industrial Chic at Michael's. The chain and the feather band are part of their findings-as well as lots of little pendant things made of metal. Love them and most items are $4.99-$5.99.

One hour later I had a wonderful bracelet made and a necklace to match! I took my Industrial Chic chain and cut it to size for the necklace then took the remainder of the length, doubled it, added jump rings to each end, added the feather band to the jump rings and used a coordinating colored clasp/toggle for the closure. There-all done and ready to wear.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Find time

Find time by janellcl
Find time, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

My project is almost finished. After adding strings of beads I remembered I had some metal tags that might work. Of course, since having more time is on my mind because of my upcoming retirement-37 more days!, these two tags seemed to fit right in.

FIND TIME-we all want more time. Time to spend on our own schedule, making our own wishes come true. Stepping away from the control of someone else's schedule and sense of what 'must be done right now' and develop our own natural rhythm of time.

Now to determine how to mount this wall-hanging. One friend has suggested I tack it to a canvas so it can be hung. I don't think I want to make it into a quilted wall-hanging so that may be what I do. Hmmm....perhaps a trip to the craft store is in my future? On my time???

Sunday, April 22, 2012

New project combining new and old

  by janellcl
, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Old linen, scraps of bright fabrics from projects I've forgotten about, yo yo's made sometime, stitching and beads. Perfect way to spark my creativity.

I pulled out all the pieces Sunday evening before I finished packing for 3 days in Atlanta. Obviously, I had more than I needed to keep me busy if I got stuck somewhere at the airport. Being the crazy road warrior that I am, I was more worried about what to bring to keep me occupied than comfortable shoes...silly me!

I laid the golden linen out, placed circles of fabric that had never turned into yo yo's and stitched them down using whatever thread struck my fancy. I layered yo yo's on top and stitched them in place with beads. Now I am making strings of beads over the whole thing. The only thing hindering me is if the needle makes it through the bead!

What have you made pulling old scraps and pieces of projects together?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Reader's Appreciation Luncheon

2012-04-13 14:53:17 +0000 by janellcl
2012-04-13 14:53:17 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

The photo is not the best but I had to commemorate that I met Marjorie M. Liu Tuesday at a Luncheon for literacy. I have read every book she has written and already can't wait for the next one-due next year. Her characters capture my imagination and her style of writing is poetic and captivating. I was thrilled to be able to sit with her at lunch and talk about her characters, her life as a writer, and other authors we both loved. What a treat!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

First tulips of 2012

2012-03-26 17:46:04 +0000 by janellcl
2012-03-26 17:46:04 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Out in the country where I live, there are no tulips yet. There are a few light yellow-almost cream-daffodils that are hanging on for dear life against the Spring winds. But in the city the tulips are definitely ready for Spring.

These beauties are blooming right outside my office in a somewhat protected area. I'm not sure what I like more-the various shades of green or the pinky tulips. Anyway, they make me smile when I walk in the front door.

At home the work continues to bring some sanity to my work room. Jeanne has passed over to me about 4 boxes of fabric that she was holding at her house. I spent Sunday looking at every piece, ironing some, and stacking them up correctly before they went in the appropriate space. Yeah, I know I have a bit of a control problem where fabric is involved.

I also found 5 projects that are in various stages of being finished. Those were all nicely labeled and grouped together with everything I could think of that was needed to finish them. (Plus I put a date on the label.) We'll see how long it takes to get them finished now!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lighthouse gift

2012-03-03 02:50:06 +0000 by janellcl
2012-03-03 02:50:06 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

My lighthouse loving buddy Lori made me a beautiful pendant necklace while we were enjoying a snowstorm in Door County. For those of you familiar with Wisconsin, you'll know that Door County is a peninsula with a flock of lighthouses along its coastlines. (I decided that a group of lighthouses was a flock-who knew?)

Isn't it lovely? And she made it for ME!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Where did February go?

2012-01-26 13:23:50 +0000 by janellcl
2012-01-26 13:23:50 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

So March starts tomorrow. I can't believe we are already two months gone in the year.

Nothing is worth more than Today.

I wonder if I felt this way about many of my days lately. I don't think so although that means admitting that I am letting my days go by pretty aimlessly. At least aimlessly in the sense that I let people and events control my day instead of me. So for March I think I will try to appreciate each day a bit more and try not to rush through the hours.

You know how it goes: hurry up to get ready for work; drive with purpose to work; get through the next meeting, the next task, the next call following someone else's schedule; try to get everything done that is on that schedule and then hurry home and start all over again.

Nothing is worth more than Today. I think I'll try to hold on to that thought.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pencils and markers and paints oh my!

2012-02-22 20:59:39 +0000 by janellcl
2012-02-22 20:59:39 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

I am heading out in two hours to join my sister in law and niece for an evening of stamping, stenciling, journaling, jewelry making fun at the area Archivers. What an adventure!

The list of everything I want to take with me-just in case- is way too long. AFter all I'll be at a great scrapbook/art supply store where I can probably find whatever my little heart desires. Wait until Monday when I share pictures of the evening and what we created!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wishing there were flowers blooming

DSC00799 by janellcl
DSC00799, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Since the weather is so strange this winter I am spending quite a bit of time looking through my photos for flowers. This little sunflower was designed by Jeanne for our wall-hanging Autumn Harvest pattern. It's a great collection of country/harvest motifs that are surrounded by muted browns, blues, and rust fabrics. If I can't have flowers bloomin in my winter garden, I can at least pull out some floral quilts and decorate my rooms.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Braided bead, button and charm jewelry

2012-02-06 17:22:35 +0000 by janellcl
2012-02-06 17:22:35 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

My button box has never had so much attention. While looking through some photos on the net I found a charming (pun intended!) necklace made of beads and buttons. From there I jumped around until I stumbled upon easy instructions to make button and bead bracelets and necklaces.

This photo is of a button and waxed thread bracelet and a wrap bracelet of waxed thread, beads, and charms. I love them both. Quick to make and fun to wear. Get out your button box and see what is waiting for you there!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today at work we exchanged Valentine's. I made a sheet of paper with circles and hearts and used watercolors and ink to make a messy design. When it dried I used a heart cookie cutter to cut out enough hearts for my team, wrote their name in block letters on the back and distributed them.  But the best Valentine idea I have seen today is this:

Take a small jigsaw puzzle that has a great theme (Snow White and Prince Charming!), divide up the pieces so everyone you are giving a Valentine card to gets a few. Put the puzzle pieces in the card that might say "Working Together is a Sweet Treat" and place the puzzle box and a few pieces on a table in the center of the office. As each person opens their card they can add their puzzle pieces to the table and work together to complete the puzzle. Really sweet and our Snow White is almost finished!

Give someone you love a piece of your heart today. I bet it will be returned twice as big!

We love to design pillows and wall hangings based on vintage Valentines.  Our Valentine's Girl has been one of our most popular patterns for years.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Women of the family unite!

DSC01294 by janellcl
DSC01294, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

We had the "sprinkle" shower for our little newborn Ollie on Saturday. Yes, great auntie Janell DID finish the baby quilt. However, I neglected to take a picture of it. But I heard it is already at the hospital with Ollie! That makes me feel great.

There were 15 women of all ages gathered to celebrate the one month birthday of our newest family member. We had great treats (especially cupcakes decorated so cute!) including fantastic hot appetizers made by Great Auntie Mary, dips and chip, sausage/cheese/crackers and much more. Stories were shared and the laughter rolled up to the heavens with good thoughts for health and growth.

Anytime this many women unite good things can and will happen!

(Pictured here are some of the women of the family, from left to right-Heather, Lauren, Jo, Molly and Emily)!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ollie's first quilt

2012-01-31 18:52:13 +0000 by janellcl
2012-01-31 18:52:13 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

Time to get my fingers flying and put together a quilt for our little Ollie. He is doing pretty well in the NIC unit as he continues to grow. I think he last weighed in at 4 pounds/3 oz. Still just a little guy with a long journey ahead but he's holding his own and growing.

It was so much fun picking out the brightest colors I could find-with a monkey or two thrown in-of course. The plan is to do a simple 5" charm layout with one border. Estimated final measurement should be 32" X 45"=or close. My measurements are always a bit funky.

I plan to bind the quilt with left over strips of the charm fabrics and then tie it. Or, depending on how fast it goes together, I may just do some very simple grid machine quilting lines. We'll see!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Circles of color

Circles of color by janellcl
Circles of color, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.
I was playing around with different paints on a piece of watercolor paper and ended up with this. I like it a lot-. But now I want to print it in color on regular 11 x 14 paper and  cut it up and use it in a collage. AND-being the technically challenged person that I am-I can't figure out how to print the darn thing so it is bigger than 1 inch by 1 inch. You know-I used my Iphone and uploaded it to Flickr and now can't get a 'real' size to print. GRRRR>>>>>

Lately it seems that I get going on a project and feel excited and caught up in the fun and color and whatever and then....WHAM...I hit a roadblock and slam to a stop.

That's what I'm going through now. When I quilt it usually helps to step away from the machine or ask a good friend (you know who you are!) to check my seams, or check my math, or re-read the pattern with me and my problem gets worked out. Of course, there is usually a bit of swearing as well as laughing involved before there is sucess... but that's ok. It's all between friends!

However, the more I move into mixed media experiments the less I think I know and the more I need to learn. Right now I will plan tonight to ask my ace computer geek at home to help me figure out how to print this! I'll keep you posted on my success!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Surprise fabric gift!

2012-01-26 12:47:26 +0000 by janellcl
2012-01-26 12:47:26 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

An 8 am dentist appointment usually doesn't make me smile-even if I don't have any cavities! But yesterday I was met at the door by one of the friendly dental hygienists who carefully handed me a big Tupperware box full of fabric! Over the course of 10 years of dentist visits we have shared updates about our mutual quilting obsession.

Even though I haven't seen her for a while, she remembered that I love making postage stamp quilts. This is just a quick pic of the contents of that lovely box. Besides being lots of little scraps that will be perfect for my postage stamp projects, there were also larger pieces that really intrigued me. How about the batik turtle???? Turtles are a favorite at our house so I am already thinking about what to do with this.

Unexpected quilting/fabric surprises are the best!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Easy pattern with left over fabric

Placemats 55 by janellcl
Placemats 55, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

This easy peasy placemat pattern is ideal for using up some of the strips of fabric I found in the Studio. Seems that I am either saving 1 1/2" squares for my postage stamp madness or 2" any length strips. Our little snow buddy seemed to be perfect when added to this simple set pieced placemat. Add hand or machine embroidery and binding and I'm ready for a cup of tea.

Must keep digging through the drawers and shelves. I know there are more strips of fabric just waiting to be discovered!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Corner of my desk

DSC01278 by janellcl
DSC01278, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.
The cleaning or moving stuff around or whatever you want to call it is continuing in my studio. I have officially decided to call the room in the basement where I keep all my quilting and art supplies my STUDIO. Doesn't that sound more serious than Craft Room or basement room? This picture is one little corner of my desk-full of things I love that help me and inspire me.

One of the concepts that I am struggling with is what to call the type of stuff I do in my Studio. It is a wonderful blend of quilting, embroidery, journaling, coloring, photography, knitting, painting and messing around with stencils, glimmer mist, and markers. All together it is wonderful and I think it is art.

When I was going to graduate school in Madison, many years ago, there was a man who walked the downtown streets offering to wash windows. His name was Art. He was someone who just existed in downtown Madison and never hurt anyone-talking to himself sometimes-offering to wash windows.

Some smart college guy eventually had tee-shirts made up. They said: What is Art? Art is a window washer in Madison.

Lots of people bought that tee-shirt. They didn't know Art but they felt like they did because he was always around. That's what I think art is-the little things that make me smile or ponder life every day. The shiny sun that slimmers off a rain-glistening leave. The soft luxiousness of mohair spun into a cloud of bliss. The shimmer and gleam of my glaze markers when I color a zentangle design. If you look too quickly, you miss these things. And, sometimes, you have to slow down and just enjoy them.

Art is what I do. So it's ok that I do it in a Studio.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Helping Hand?

2012-01-20 19:02:22 +0000 by janellcl
2012-01-20 19:02:22 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.
The clean up in the studio continues. So far I have 5 bags of old gardening and quilting magazines. Seems like I have several offers of 'helping hands' to take them away for good use. May just start the distributing this weekend if we aren't snowed in.

I also have isolated three quilt projects that have all the fabric washed and ironed, the pattern attached, and even a few notes on what I was thinking when I bought the fabric. Next step: find some plastic boxes/containers that can hold the whole thing until it is time to start working on each of them. If I don't keep them isolated, but together, I think I will lose them again!

This is my left hand traced on journal paper. I have been playing around with Zentangles/doodling and have decided that hands are awesome to play with. I used Micron pens and then Sakura Glaze bright pens/markers for the coloring. What absolute fun!

Just asked my 7 year old grandson, Winston, to trace his hand for me. I think I want all 4 grandkids to do that so I can combine them into one project. Fun!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Studio clean up

DSC01276 by janellcl
DSC01276, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

As I haven't been able to sleep past 4 am the last two nights, I have decided to start cleaning my studio. Actually it is a big room in the basement that has all my craft/quilting/painting/artsy stuff in it. About half of it is taken up by shelves that hold all the fabric and patterns that I have accumulated as part of Lasting Treasures Designs AND as a passionate quilter.

That's a lot of fabric! It's also a lot of patterns and books and buttons and thread and get the idea.

I need to identify what I have and decide if there is a reason to keep it and then re-organize it all so I know where things are and have room to do things and buy more things...whatever. I'll keep you posted with some pics along the way. I am looking for storage tips and will have some goodies to share as I 'inventory'...also known as pulling out drawers and looking at stacks of stuff to figure out what I have. Want to play???

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hopes and Prayers for little Oliver

Twinkling H20's sketch by janellcl
Twinkling H20's sketch, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

We have a new blessing in our family. Jeanne's daughter and son-in-law have a new little one! Oliver Philip was born January 6th-9 weeks early but breathing on his own. The little guy is 15 inches long and weighs 3.7 pounds at birth. He has a long journey ahead of him to good health but we are holding him up-with his mom, dad, and big brothers-with our love and support.

A birth is a hope for new beginnings-a life full of possibilities and dreams. We ask for your good hopes and prayers for our family.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Little office helpers

2012-01-09 20:31:48 +0000 by janellcl
2012-01-09 20:31:48 +0000, a photo by janellcl on Flickr.

I got these little Cinderella characters from Santa Claus. My favorites are the 3 little mice people in the front. I have these characters lined up on my office to help me with inspiration.

Don't know if you remember the story that Disney shared about Cinderella. The little mice helped Cinderella throughout the movie and were very instrumental in her getting ready for the ball.

The little mouse lady helped create her ball-gown. What fun to have help like that getting ready for a special event. Sometimes help comes from unexpected sources. You've just got to be open to offers!

Friday, January 6, 2012

New Year-New Projects

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

I have been exploring working in an art journal for 2 months now. Amazing-there have only been two times where I had to sit and think back over a couple of days. It is a great way to keep track of what's on my mind without having to worry about putting too much information 'out there'.

If I don't like what I wrote-or don't want anyone else to see it-I just paint over it or cover it up and move on. But the act of writing down what's in my head has been good.

Picking out the tools to use each day has been fun. Who knew I would love different letter fonts so much? Or maybe it's the little tin these came in. Whatever...stamp, stamp, stamp away.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sketching over the holidays

PC300571-Edit.jpg by turtleboy2010
PC300571-Edit.jpg, a photo by turtleboy2010 on Flickr.

The end of December was spent doing all kinds of thinking about the New Year. With my retirement just around the corner it seems that I am looking at the things I love to do differently. What am I reading? What am I sewing? What am I sketching?

How can I use my creative energy to express what I see around me?

We visited the Oshkosh Public Museum last week and I sketched the Apostles' clock. We both took photos-sometimes of the same things. Interesting how things look different through different eyes.

What does your mind's eye see around you? And what can you do with that image?