Thursday, April 05, 2007

Fiber Art Traders has a LOGO!!!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Still amongst the living....

Lots has happened since last I published to this place...November brought the Pacific Northwest the most horrendous wind storm we have ever been through. Winds in the Category 1 of the Hurricane type, rains that just couldn't quit, all to end up with a snow storm yet! We haven't had snow in early December for I don't know how long...seems like about 30+ years to me! With that of course came below freezing temps, which are not unknown to us up here, but the duration has been something else. It is not neat to see the sun shining and know that your nose will freeze if you go outdoors! Yes, I know it is winter, and I know that means foul weather, but when we have had temperate temps for the past 10 years, we just knew the earth had tilted and we were bound to discover that it was for the warmer! Little did we realize that we had become complacent about the weather.
Well one good thing about the lousy weather is that we will not be having water rationing this coming summer. I can be thankful for that because my lawn has suffered enough for the past few years. Perhaps I will even be able to complain about having to mow it twice a week this year. Those lovers of the snow are rejoicing over the amount of snowfall in the mountains of the Cascades and are enjoying it tremendously. I have noticed that this time of the year does bring us some fantastic colors in the sky.

In the crafting end of things here, I have been busy in that arena as well. I don't think I could go a day without creating something and have created a few small works of my art. I am entering my 3rd year shortly with Fiber Art Traders, and have been the welcoming person to all new members for the past year. I enjoy this task, even when we grow by great leaps and bounds. When I joined there were just a few over 100 members, and we are fast approaching 500 members.

My latest work in progress is a Treasure Box which will hold the fiber art postcards we trade on this list. Well, that is only one of the items that we trade, there is a trade for the Treasure Box as well. I have made cloth dolls, artist trading pins, similar to brooches, but with an artistic twist to them, business card cases, Easter decorations as well as Christmas decor and a multitude of other items too numerous to mention. Here are a few photos of some of the items I have created since last posting....

One of the neater ideas the list mom presented us with for our Journal Quilt project, which is an ongoing year long item. For this one we were to turn a colored print into a black and white journal quilt, ala Ansel Adams. I chose to do a photograph I took of Cape Disappointment Light, located on the border between Washington State and Oregon. I have a love of lighthouses, and this particular light is the oldest still operating light on the Pacific Coast. Quite the achievement for our state! I really enjoyed doing this, and it proved to me that I could do work with a limited palette.

Some other more recent items are shown below...

Wild West post card trade...I created this one using one of my favorite western type designs, a steer skull, embellished in the manner of my forefathers with feathers and Indian paintings, as well as leather covering the horns of the skull.

The following three photos are of a dear friend with her eldest grandson, then one of her youngest grandson, and finally one of her granddaughter. I took a little liberty with her granddaughter, and turned her into a fairie for her journal page! Her youngest GS has a love of dinosaurs, hence his photo with the dino accompaniment.
And finally, my very favorite, a living fairie, such a little cutie she is also!
Well that's about it for today. Hopefully tomorrow will bring the instinct in me to do a little more blogging...

Friday, November 24, 2006

New Projects Begun

This is my journal quilt page for November on the Fiber Art Traders group. I have named it "Life is like a box of chocolates... you never know what you're gonna get" from the Forest Gump movie. I gave this a lot of thought, Our theme was to be "In a Word", later included a phrase or a word. In that the phrase is definitely a true one when I think of what life has dished out to it was an appropriate journal quilt for me to make. I was so excited about having chosen to do a phrase, as one word didn't really say much to me. I firmly believe this project is perfect for me, and it only took me about 4 hours from taking the photo of a box of chocolates, to completing the last stitch in it. I was lucky to have fabric to finish off the photo appropriately available at the nearest store to me...Wal-Mart, of all places. But it gives it the look I was searching for when I though about how I could create the quilt. I like it a lot!

My cyber friend from Oklahoma, Lena Dalke, sent me a photo of her with her
13 yr old grandson, taken yesterday. Her daughter, Vicki Stegall owns a web site called OScraps, which deals with virtual scrapbooking elements. Vicki took the photo then cropped it to create this photo montage. When Lena sent me the photo this a.m., I thought I would create a journal quilt for her with it. So tonight I am going to finish it and will mail it off to her on Monday. I will post a photo of it when it is finished...she will be so surprised! In the meantime here is the photo taken by Vicki...

I have finished a few postcards this past week also. The first one is for a Snowflake postcard trade, and is called "All my friends seem a little flakey"...

This next postcard is also for the snowflake trade, and reads "All my friends are flakes" and has a perky little!"snowflake on it with a face in the center....the third card for this trade is a very pretty snowflake, but inside it says "Let it snow"

That's all for now...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Another project finished, and one almost finished!

I have finished my Dreamholder...a tiny triangular shaped box to hold my dreams...or perhaps a very rich chocolate treat, or even a special jewel. At any rate, I have created a new item, using a pattern that is available in the Nov/Dec 2006 issue of Quilt Maker magazine, by the same name....Dream Holder.

As each side is different, I had to post pictures of all three sides of it. It was not a difficult item to create, and had plenty of room on each petal of the top portion to really go crazy with the embellishments.

I am nearing the completion of the quilt...working on the border now, and it is moving along very nicely. Photos will be posted once it is delivered to the recipient. I am very pleased with the way it is turning out...a wonderful quilt for a truly wonderful occasion in my opinion.

This past week has seen some really horrendous weather for the Pacific Northwest. We had, in just 6 days, more rain than we normally get all month long. On the 6th we got almost 4 inches of rain in a 24 hour period...and flooding has occurred in many counties, some which had not seen this type devastation in over 30 years. I am thinking that this may be just a forerunner in what our winter weather may hold in store for us. Luckily I live atop a hill, and not on the edge of the hillside either. There have been mud slides in those areas where people had constructed homes and are now seeing the error of their ways. I would have thought that the planners at the county level would not have approved building permits for homes to be built in those areas, but there are always people who want an unobstructed view of either the water of Puget Sound, or a terrific view of Mount Rainier. Having worked in the constructon end of the school business, I have oftentimes wondered about the advisibility of constructing a residence or even a business near a cliffside, even if we had not had that 100 year flood in 95 years! Seems like the numbers would tell you that sooner or later it would or could happen.

I guess that is another good thing about retirement...lots of time to think these things over and come to the determination that it is something that I would never do.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Rain, rain, go away!

I must tell you that rain in the Pacific Northwest has outdone itself today. We have received a total for the month increased by almost 3 inches over our normal monthly rainfall and are only 6 days into the month! We do not expect to see dry weather for another 2-3 days either!

I am not too concerned for myself, for I live much higher than the locations that are experiencing higher flood levels than have been experienced in the PNW for over 15 years.

I have kept indoors, and have been busily creating and sewing...mainly quilting. I am hand quilting a quilt for a first time mother, and it is almost to the state of being finished, just a couple more blocks and I will then quilt the border, then do the binding on it. It is exciting to finish a project such as this one up, and I am certain the new mom and her baby will be very excited and happy to receive this lovely quilt. Photos will be posted when it is finished and delivered, but not till then.

Other items I am involved in making, just to give me a break from the quilting are a Dream Holder, which is a triangular gift box, meant to hold a surprise for the recipient. I can see such items as a item of jewelry placed in one of these boxes and then the box hung on a Christmas tree in December. No doubt I will stock this box with chocolates, and for some, that is just as good as jewelry, perhaps better! I hope to be able to finish my Dream Holder in the next couple of days and get a photo taken of it to share.

Last night while I was quilting, I also had the embroidery machine humming away and completed 4 tree ornaments during the evening. These are of free standing lace, meaning that they do not need fabric to keep them from raveling out and becoming a mass of thread. There are so many stitches in each of them, and all stitches are anchored by threads traveling in an diagonal direction over and over till they become fabric themselves. Of this collection I will be keeping the heart shaped ornament for myself, but the other three are going to be traded with others who participated in the Fiber Art Traders Monday Night Challenge/Trade. This is a fun opportunity to create at least one ornament, usually in a new technique, and get it posted in a 24 hour period. We have had many challenges in the past, some for post cards and bookmarks, and it really lets us strut our stuff, so to speak.

Well, that is it for today...let's see what tomorrow brings to the Landstrom residence!

It's Sunday....errr Monday?

Guess I blew it again...Fully intended to get this posted on Sunday, but looking at the clock, it has been Monday for all of 35 minutes already!

I have to thank my friend AliKat from the UK for putting me to rights about how to get photos to work here...very simply, update my IE. Thank you Ali!

I have posted my Dream Weaver quilt, her name is Victoria, the Valentine Fairie of Love. Completing this quilt means that I can now add FGM to...after my name on the Fairie Goddess Mothers Yahoo Group site. I've been a member for over a year, and finally took the time to do Victoria. I had a bit of a problem in determining just how I was going to create her. The heart behind her along with the rose in the quilt is from an old pattern (quilting motif actually and not intended to be used as an applique pattern). I cannot even remember where I got the motif, but know that it was over 20 years ago, and I had plans to use it in a Center Medallion Quilt. I am glad I did not lose it, or toss it as I am sometimes prone to do. But as it was a heart, I am sure that is the reason I saved it. After finishing the quilt one of the requirements is to create a story about the fairie residing on the quilt. My first thoughts when I got the pattern after joining the FGM group was that I would name her Rosebud. But as I got into the quilting of this gem, her name all of a sudden did not seem right to me. Then I recalled a fairie tale that my father told me when I was a child. It was a nighttime ritual that he would tell all of my sisters and my brother and I a bedtime tale. I particularly liked it when dad would tell us stories he had heard as a child. His dad was a 2nd generation Irishman and so many of the tales he remembered were of the wee folk, many of whom reside in Ireland according to him. Sometimes they were about the leprechan's while interesting, my favorites were when he would tell us fairie stories. He endowed me with a love of fairies from a very young age. I was convinced that the fairies controlled the seasons, with each season having very special meaning to them, and eventually to me as well. So I created my story, using my fathers words, but changing the actual name of the fairie he spoke of and the reason she was named so. I'd like to share it with you here....

Once upon a time, very long ago, at the edge of a copse of very tall trees, there lived a family of six members. The head of this family was a very wise man. He had roots to the old country and in the early hours of evening he would gather his family around him and would tell them of his life prior to meeting his wife and having children of his own. This family was made up of the father, the mother, and four children, three of them female and one male.

This family is mine, and this story is one that was passed to me by my father, who was of Irish persuasion. Many of his stories passed on to us were flavored by his Irish ancestry. Other stories centered around his great grand parents, one who was his great grandfather, Irish by birth, but married to an Iroquois maiden shortly after arriving on the soil of the new country he had adopted for his own.

I recall as a youngster of about 4 years of age a story my father shared with me of the fairies in the woods behind our home. Not all forested areas contained living little people, but our copse of trees, while sometimes seeming very fierce to me, also held much magic and wonderment. But you must believe to partake of that wonderment…on to the story told by my father…

One bright spring morning, as he walked through the copse of trees to gather berries for his breakfast, he happened to hear a sound that he recalled hearing when he was but a child himself…the tinkling of bells, but faintly, as if far in the distance. The berry picking was quickly abandoned to search out the source of this delightful sound… very quietly he moved through the trees, and soon approached a wonderful meadow, just beginning to bloom with tiny wild flowers, wood violets, he thought to himself. He felt the soft breeze of spring and within that breeze he felt the kiss of spring, and the aroma of something he had never smelled before to his recollection. This aroma was so intoxicating that he almost abandoned the search for the beautiful melodic tones he was now hearing quite clearly. As he followed a narrow pathway through the meadow the sounds became interspersed with laughter, he was certain there were people about in the forest, and as he searched for the source of what seemed to be a large gathering of folk, he heard also the weeping of a single child…He stopped and listened. Yes! It must be a child, someone who is lost and knows not that there are people around perhaps looking for this child. Although puzzled by the whimpering of a child, he wondered about the happiness that he could hear so clearly…

Determined to find out what the problem was that could cause this sound to shatter the peaceful morning, he decided to find this child and soothe its feelings so that it could also enjoy the day. He remembered his own father telling him that there are wee folk living amongst the trees, and generally how they would gather together in celebration of achievements each had made. Crouching down upon hand and knee, he searched amongst the leaves, and discovered there, across the way was a patch of mushrooms popping through the soil. The sound of the child was becoming stronger in that direction, and so he crept ever so quietly closer to the circle of mushrooms. Fairie Ring he thought to himself, his Da had told him about the fairie rings, and how they would arrive shortly after the soil had been danced upon by the fairies of the forest. These were fairly new, and he knew that there must be fairies about, and that must be the sound he was hearing as he approached this area. As he looked around, he spotted, seated beneath the largest mushroom a small child. Lying upon his belly, he inched forward until he was quite close to her. She had not noticed him yet and he thought to himself, why is this child whimpering so? As if he had spoken aloud the whimpering stopped and the child looked up to him asking “Who are you?” “I am called Mac by my friends” he responded. “What is your name?” he asked her back. Again the whimpering began and she sobbed out her words very hesitantly, “I do not know… today is the naming ceremony and I cannot think of a name that would suit me. I have given it much thought, and I cannot come up with a name that is suitable.” More whimpering began in earnest and he tried to reach out to her in his thoughts. She is so beautiful, he thought, such gorgeous eyes that flash when she speaks, and hair that is so long and wonderfully thick, she should have no reason to not be able to discover a name to fit her. She spoke again to him, saying “But my name must be such that it says to others what it is that I will do with my life.” “Well, we must find out what you are interested in,” he thought to her…”what do you like to do? What are your very favorite colors? There must be something about you that is so special that it will tell everyone what your name is!”

“I have a fondness for the colors of pink and red,” she answered him, and added “and I love flowers, especially the roses!” He noticed that she was wearing a beautiful pink jumper and a long skirt of a brighter shade of pink, her long, wavy brown hair blowing in the breeze. He could picture her sitting upon a full blown rose. “I believe this child will be very enchanting as she grows into her wings” he thought. Then he thought of his grandmother. She also has this beautiful shade of hair, and it is wavy just as hers is…and as he thought this, his grandmother’s vision appeared in his memory. The fairie interrupted his thoughts and she said to him, “What is your grandmother’s name?” “Victoria” he answered her. “How did she come by that name?” asked the fairie. “Her father named her that after the Queen of England” he thought. “Would it be ok for me to have her name as my own?” she asked him, and he noticed that the whimpering had stopped and as he gazed at her, he noticed that her wings were fluttering. “She would have been honored to know you, and I am sure she would like you to carry her name, but it is a strong name, you know. It comes from the Victorian era, when love was very much in vogue.”

“Oh, thank you so very much” she answered, “you have given me a wonderful name to carry and as well you have given me the idea that I could easily be the Fairie of the Victorian season of Love…when is that season?” Shocked that she could so easily rise up to be fluttering before his very eyes, he exclaimed aloud “Well I would think that would be almost any time of the year, for people fall in love all the time. You will be quite busy attending to all the love in the world!”

“But there must be a special time of year when love is expressed by all” she stated…”surely you must be able to tell me when that is.”

“Yes,” he said, “in February, after the winter snowfall has begun to disappear, there is a day, the 14th of February, when all celebrate what is known as Valentine’s Day. That day we express our love of others.”

“Well, then I will be Victoria, the Valentine Fairie of Love, and will be noted for the expression of love for others!” she responded. “I must be off now, for the naming ceremony is about to end and I do so need a name. Thank you so very much for your assistance, and I bestow upon you the most love that ever there was!”

As she rose up, he kneeled and watched her fly toward the sound of cheering. Then he heard as clearly as we hear one another speak to us, “Victoria! Victoria the Valentine Fairie of Love is presented to you!” and heard such cheering as you could never imagine. Smiling to himself, he retraced his steps and as he was returning home, he picked those berries, which seemed to ripen before his very eyes.

So there you have it! I do not think that dad would mind me using his story. And were he still here on earth, I am sure that he would have wonderful words of praise to speak to me about my quilt. He was my champion, and always told me that I had great possibilities and I would like to think that I have achieved at least a portion of his wishes for me.

Have a happy Monday to each and every one of you!

Till later...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Still having photo posting problems...

Well I thought I was computer savvy, however I do not know how to fix this problem of not being able to post a photo. I really wanted to share my newest fairie with you, but it will have to wait till later. I will try again before this is finished for if I am anything, it is determined!

I have been attempting for the past 5 years to replicate a recipe for Chili Relleno's. I used to visit with my sister when she was alive, down in Los Angeles at least 4-6 times a year and each time for a good week, sometimes two weeks. She introduced me to a wonderful little Mexican restaurant on Euclid Avenue in Anaheim that made the most awesome Chili Relleno's. I got rather friendly with the proprietor and tried my best to get the recipe from him, but he always said that the recipe was his mother's and he did not know all that she did to the chili's to get them the way she did. Anyway, last Wednesday I was at the grocers and purchasing more Anaheim peppers to attempt it one more time. There was a Mexican man and woman picking over the jalapeno peppers and filling a plastic bag full of them at that, and we began talking. I was asked what I was going to prepare and told them the story of trying to make chili relleno's as good as the ones I had eaten in CA. The lady immediately asked more questions as to what part I was having problems with, and then gave me her recipe right there in the store! I got all the required ingredients, came home and followed her directions, and voila! They tasted the same as the famous ones I had eaten so long ago. My mom also loved these, so today I took a serving over for her to have for her lunch, and she only had one complaint about them....she wished I would have brought more for her! She actually raved about how great they were, so now I can make this food of the gods any time I so desire, as long as the Anaheim peppers are in the store that is! Mom and I have tried Chili Relleno's in every Mexican restaurant in our area, and have had a few that were not even edible in our opinions, others that just did not have the special flavor of those we remembered from the south. Tomorrow I am headed to the grocers again and will get as many of the peppers as I can for these things even taste good after being frozen!

This is good weather for the spicy hot foods of the south, we are being drenched with uncommon amounts of rainwater, flooded streets, storm drains being clogged with the leaves that the wind blew off the trees all week long. Not a good time for this amount of rain to fall upon us. We have had snow in the mountains, but I would imagine what with the warmer weather we have had, and now this deluge of water, that not much of the snow remains...and there goes the chance for the snow birds to be skiing over the Thanksgiving 4-day weekend. I can almost hear them moaning about it now! I am not a skiier, have no desire to freeze my buns on a mountain top! I only want snow to stay on the mountain so I can take wonderful pictures of it, and for the replenishments of our resevoirs for plentiful water next summer. We have had water rationing where I live for two summers running now, and it is time for replenishment! We may even see a snowfall here in Tacoma, but they are short lived around here.

Well still unable to get a photo posted, so will sign off for tonight...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


It has been a while since I've posted, but to be honest with you, I have been really busy. Not all in the creative field, although I have done a bit of that also. My mother, who is 87 yrs old took a fall and I have been tending her, and traveling that 40 miles per day in heavy traffic is no fun, believe me! But as she is getting her land feet back now, I have more time to devote to perhaps keeping up to date as to what day it is, and what I am doing here on earth. Let me add, that is it not a neat thing to be the parent figure when it is your own parent you are attempting to be the parent to! I know, say that five times quickly and see what you come up with...chaos!

However, I have done a little creative work. At present am quilting a baby quilt for a first time mom...and am about finished with it, then on to other projects. I still attempt to keep my nose in other peoples business, after all, I would not be me if I did not do that.

One nice thing about retirement is that your time is your own, till someone needs your assistance. I have found time to keep myself in the loop as far as being creative. I have made a few post cards, am involved in a monthly quilt block trade with others in one of the groups I am in, the theme being Wonderous Wings, and the blocks are small, just little 6" square ones with, so far, a butterfly block, bumblebees, bats (yes, the October winged thing!), and most recently little lady bugs. I also finished my Dreamwatcher fairie, and actually wrote a story about how she came to be. The name of my fairie is Victoria, the Valentine Fairie of Love. I attempted to upload a photo of her, but alas, Blogger is having problems again with that particular part of their software, so will attempt to post it later.

I received a very nice letter from the Hygenic Gallery in Connecticut, how wonderful to be thanked by the very person who actually purchased my card! I felt so honored to be a part of their fund raiser back in July, and to have had Kathy purchase my card after a bit of furious bidding in a silent auction, was really the best thing to happen to me in a long while. The name of the card I submitted was "Evening in Paris at the Lido, Circa 1964".

Well that is it for this posting. I am going to attempt to keep up with this much better than I have been...let's see what tomorrow brings....