Thursday, August 25, 2016

Have you ever added beads to a crazy quilt and realized you used a wrong color or something happened to the bead and you wanted to replace it?  On my latest project I was using acrylic pearls for a motif.  After the motif was finished, I ironed it carefully.  Or, so I thought!  The tip of the iron came into contact with one of the "pearls" and melted it.  I'm using the end of a scissors to indicate the offender.

Using a needle-nose pliers to grip and then break the pearl.  Squeeeeeeze until the pearl breaks apart.

The pearl is gone, but the thread that previously sewed it on is still there.  Leave it there.  You will sew a new pearl over this space.

The motif all better!  This technique will work for glass beads as well.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Herbal Living Contributor

I have become a contributor for Mother Earth Living's new web site, Herbal Living.  I'll be posting videos and posts about herbs - growing, using and enjoying.  The first video is about making a tea that helps immensely with a sore throat.

Sage and Ginger Tea

If you would like me to make a video on some aspect of herbs, just let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for watching and sharing.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Emerging Herbs

Spring took its own sweet time in arriving this year.  Winter simply did not want to loosen its grip.  Finally, the spring peepers are singing their chorus, red-winged blackbirds have appeared and plants are starting to awaken.

Here is Stinging Nettles, Urtica dioica.  Notice the purple/red runners that nettles sends out to spread from place to place.  Yes, indeed, this plant will sting you!  When it reaches about a foot high, I will harvest the aerial parts.  I use garden gloves, salad tongs and scissors to harvest.  Come back in a few weeks and I will share some delicious recipes for nettles.  It is nutritious and really good.

This is Motherwort, Leonurus cardiaca.  Motherwort will grow to 3-4 feet tall.  It is really a great herb for some types of anxiety, especially when someone needs to be "lion-hearted", as the Latin name suggests.  I usually use it in tincture form, as it is quite bitter.  

Lady's Mantle, Alchemilla mollis, is just beginning to unfurl her cloak.  When I lived in England, it seemed EVERY English garden had Lady's mantle.  It is a really pretty mounding plant that will casually spill over a walkway.  The Latin name tells of its one-time use by alchemists.  There is said to be magic in the dew that collects in the folds of the leaves.  I like to dip my finger in the dew and anoint my face with it.  Can't hurt!  And it's rather fun.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Yesterday I was judged into the Catskill Mountain Quilters' Hall of Fame!  I am delighted and honored.  Induction ceremony will be September 15. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Always something beautiful

 The challenge:  Riding mowing for 7 hours over the last two days in 90+ heat and humidity with one hand.  If you recall, I severed the tendon and cut into the bone on my right hand (dominant hand) on June 23.
The reward?  I have seen a zillion butterflies.  And look!  This one has an injury as well.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Last I posted was June 23.  Night of the Super Moon.  I was reveling in the aromatic roses that grow in my garden.  I as finally catching up on yard work that was hampered by all the flooding we had been having.  I was working long hours in the garden.  As evening was getting late, I wanted to ride that wave of goodness and get just a little more work done.  I was weeding a bit of a raised bed where speedwell was overtaking the area.  As I was tugging mightily on those stubborn plants, I drew back my right hand, fistful of weeds and S.L.I.C.E.D. the back of my thumb on a ceramic mushroom's broken edge.  I invented a new cus word.  Then, gazed down at the damage and knew I had to have stitches.  I went over to the neighbors and let them know I was driving myself to the ER and could they keep an eye on the brush pile I was burning.  They offered to drive me in, but the cut didn't hurt much and the hospital was just 20 minutes away.

At the ER, all agreed I needed stitches.  And a tetanus shot, antibiotics and x-rays.  Now, I realized I could not bend or extend my thumb - that was very concerning.  While waiting on x-rays to see if garden debris was preventing my thumb from moving, I asked the staff if I could go outside to see the rise of the "super moon".  They laughed and agreed.  What a glorious moon it was!

Four hours after arriving in the ER, I was released with 5 stitches and told I had not cut tendon.  However, I needed to see a hand specialist due to the inability to move my thumb.  The next morning I called that doc's office.  Got an appointment for Thursday.

On Thursday, it took the hand surgeon all of 10 seconds to realize I severed the tendon completely and needed to have hand surgery the next day!  Unfortunately, that meant I had to miss attending the Beekman Boys' wedding.  :-(

Surgery showed not only did I severe my tendon, I also cut into the bone!  The joint had to be debrided, the ends of the tendon found and sutured together.  I woke up with a cast and told I would have to wear it for months and have physical therapy for months.

Naturally, it is my right hand!  Stitches were removed July 8 and replaced with steri-strips.  A new spica splint was made and I was bandaged up again.  Under strict orders not to use my right hand as I could easily rupture the tendon repair. 

So, no stitching.  Not supposed to work in the garden. Did I mention I also have rheumatoid and osteoarthritis?
I've been doing what I can and trying hard not to do those things that will damage my hand further.   I've just added a new pattern to my craftsy site.  It's a sequin bird motif that can be stitched as is or added into a sweet fan.  Looks great on a crazy quilt block!  Thankfully, I had this stitched up already and just had to type up the directions.  There are a ton of close up photos in the pattern!!

The pattern for the sequin bird motif and fan is only $4.00!