This is all about my textile work and textile fun... Custom Cycling Caps and more -- much much more.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bead Inspirations!

Good Morning Everyone,

My earring wires came in to Bead Inspirations.  It is my local bead shop here in lovely Alameda California.  The nicest folks work there.  I try get my supplies from local shops.  Don't get me wrong, I love shopping on line as much as the next person.  Heck -- I even sell my creations on line at and  However, I like having good craft places in town to shop at and take classes.  That is why I am always happy to find, and support, a new independently owed craft shop.

Bead Inspirations gives me a great deal on my beading needs and no shipping!  Even better then that -- they help me.  They help me find what I need to do my project and often how to make it even better.  And a big shout out to my peeps at B. I. : Vicky and Lydia.   Hip urban slang aside, these two folks are the greatest.  Thank you. 

Here is a link to them:

I hope you like them as much as I do.
Happy Hump Day,

Monday, March 23, 2009

One Quilt at a Time at NiaH

What a great day at NiaH.  The stitchers from One Quilt at a Time were so much fun.  They were working on the coolest projects too.  One lady was doing Shadow Work with DMC floche.  Another lady was doing this wreath of flowers embroidery that she had altered to reflect the four seasons.  It was so exciting to watch her select her palette of colors.  It was just fantastic.  The owner of One Quilt at a Time, was with them, she was so kind and nice.  I just loved talking to her.  Her name is Denise.  What was so cute is that her daughter was with her (Sara Elizabeth) and she was very sweet too.   I am always amazed how kind stitchers are.  Everyone was helping each other with patterns and colors.  I am very grateful that I get to work with such good people.

Here is a link to Denise's One Quilt at a Time shop in Fremont:

I was there a few months ago and it is just such a cute shop.  As you can see they have lots of classes in different quilting techniques and stitching methods.   I found the selection of fabrics interesting and engageing.  I can't wait to go back!

After NiaH was closed for the day I went up to my workshop and sorted buttons!  I am so suprised that there are so many.  They are worse then Tribbles!  How did I get so many?  Where did they come from? 

Here is a picture of some of the buttons in their happy little sorted drawers.  I don't know why I think it will be nessary to have them sorted by size and number of holes.  But it seems like the way to go about it.  Time will tell how useful this is.

This is the best photo.  The buttons are seporated into pairs awaiting earring wires and Etsy.

Best Wishes,

Daruma San The red one for me. The blue one for ... you? I just love this guy.

Daruma- San.

A new week! Okay, In the morning I am on my way to my workshop, after a few hours helping ladies at NiaH. I really enjoy opening the shop for special appointments. It is fun getting to meet new folks and see what everyone is working on. The group tomorrow is from a quilt shop in Fremont. Monday is the only day they can come in because it is the day they are closed. I also quilt and so I am extra excited to see what projects they bring to work on.

After closing shop I am going to make a tote bag for myself and one to sell on Etsy. One bag with a red Daruma and one with a blue Daruma.

Here is a pic of the fabric I got at the Oakland Museum White Elephant sale with the Darumas printed on it. It is one of those banners you have to duck under when going into a good Japanese Restaurant. When everyone bows, everyone is equal.

I love Daruma! He is the best. Here is a link to an article about him and his image:

I am also going to make a belt. I got the 29-4 "shoepatch" singer sewing machine all queued up and ready to go. A few weeks ago I found this way cool horseshoe shaped belt buckle that is aproximatly 2 inches in height. Tomorrow I'll take a picture to show you. Hopefully the picture will be of compleated projects! We will see. I also have buttons to sort, and beads to manage. And, lots of information to enter in to Quickbooks. However, I really need a belt and a bag ...

Wish me luck!

Post Script: About the delay in posts. For that I am sorry. I was house sitting and they don't have internet access. Can you believe it? I felt like I was in 1900's house on PBS! Which is kinda funny because their house is an old (beautiful) Victorian. Really, I felt very lucky to have such good friends who would trust me to care for it, and like I got to stay at a B & B for a week. It was very nice. However, no late night posting for me.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Today it is all about cross stitching!  A while ago Ali gave me a Home Sweet Home chart I had been eye-ing.  It is by Dutch Treat.  Needless to say their have been lots of changes for me in the last year.  So, on New Year's Eve I decided to make my own home as sweet as I could.  I got to stitching and I am finished with the lettering and now I am on my way to the flowers and vines.  

Of course I would not be a very good cross stitcher if I had only one project to work on.  I don't need to tell you how many I have going either.  Anyhoo, lets just say it is a healthy amount.  The one that I am very excited about is a Blackbird Designs chart that just came out at the last show.  It is called Small Tokens: Reward of Merit Pincushion. It is such a sweet piece.  Leila, also from my work, is getting hitched and this is my wedding present for her and her beau.

I am changing the colors around to suit the happy event.  The bird in on the chart is blue, but I made him even brighter.  Because he is the Blue Bird of Happiness -- of course!  And the green leaves I am making dark green for Myrtle (traditional plant for newly weds during Victorian times).   I want the hearts to be very dark red for lots of sexy fun.  The flowers I want to look like Pinks or Sweet Williams a traditional love token during the middle ages.  I am still figuring out the color for the star motif.

At first I was going to replace the words with their names, but now I am not so sure.  I think that they go together like: Needles and Pins, Apples and Pears, Flowers and Chocolates.  I'll get the names in somehow just not at the expense of my Bread and Butter, Cheese and Crackers... well you get it, they are one cute couple.

It is special to me that the stitching gift will be cut from the same cloth, as it were, as my Home Sweet Home.  This way part of my Sweet will spill over into the gift. 

I might have taken the iconography lessons a little to seriously (art history humor).   However, this really is the type of thing I think of as I stitch.  While my hands work I ponder how things and people are linked in such interesting ways.  How the literal fabric in our lives makes some memories so close.  This is part of the reason I love doing textile repairs and restoration.  I feel the importance of the memories even if they are not mine.  The stories of the women who made the gifts and care for the for them are at the heart of my work. 

When I work on my Home Sweet Home I remember Ali who gave it to me (for no particular reason - just kindness).  I think of all the Victorian women who worked on mottos like this.  I feel a connectedness to them and to women who stitch/create beauty for their homes now.  Anyway, I hope this thought is not so strange.  I like to think that other women feel the link with the women of the past and those who stitchers now.

Bye for now,
Mary Elizabeth
Good Morning,
I can't believe how fast the last week has gone.  Well, more fun stuff tomorrow.  Part of having a business working with textiles is the business part.  To help me do that I bought a Mac.  It is great.  I am so happy with it.  It is why I am able to write to you now.

At the Mac store they have a personal teaching service.  For 99 dollars you can set up one on one classes each week for a whole year.   This is great, now I don't have to bug folks I know to teach me.  I have learned so much already.   And there are hands on workshops too.  Thursday night I am going to one focusing on webpages, blogs, and the like.  I'll report back how it goes.

Really, a big thank you to all the folks who have helped me at the Bay Street Store.  Everyone has been so kind to me.  I am so glad that I have them to help me.
Mary Elizabeth

Post Script: Just started watching The Tudors via Net Flix.  Wow, what a sexy show.  And the costumes are great, whenever they decide to wear them.  And very beautiful people when they are not.   m.e.