Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

To leave the old with a burst of song,
To recall the old and forgive the wrong,
To forget the things that bind you fast,
To the vain regrets of the year that's past;
To have the strength to let go of your hold
Of the not worth while of the days grown old;
To dare go forth with a purpose true,
To the unknown task of the year that's new;
To help your brother along the road,
To assist with his work and lift his load;
To add your gift to the world's good cheer,
Is to have and to give a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

11 years

In our family there are a lot of celebrations packed in the last week of the year.  There is Christmas, then on New Year's Day is my son's birthday.  And the day after Christmas is our wedding anniversary, which we both forgot this year.  I just remembered today.
Here is to 11 years. 

(this was our cake topper, made by one of David's friends from a photograph of us before we got married)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Snow day in Arizona

It's hard to believe that I have not seen snow falling in almost a decade.  My kids have been asking for snow and we've been trying to catch some snow events in Phoenix.  A snow event is usually a few tons of snow dumped by a truck at a park.  A few weeks ago we heard that there is 'snow fall' every night at a local shopping center.  But we were disappointed to learn firsthand that this falling snow (it was falling for real) was soap suds.
Yesterday we were going to give it another try looking for snow and we went downtown Phoenix at Patriot Square.  We even got trinkets and things to decorate a snowman.  Patrick brought a magician hat, Maggie took her whistle/flute to use it for a nose (we were out of carrots).

Snow we found but not enough for a snow man.  I am not sure how much snow was there earlier in the day, but when we go there there was a little tiny hill of snow with a lot of wet grass and mud around it.  But that didn't matter because there was enough for a snow ball fight.

I think they really enjoyed themselves, because when I asked if they were ready to go home Maggie yelled at me: '5 minutes'

My mom said if I moved back to Nebraska I'd have snow right in my back yard.  But I think I prefer a shovel-free driveway in Arizona for now.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Santa came through the doggy door

We don't have a fireplace, and this fact concerned Patrick.  How will Santa be able to come and drop presents off?
My husband told him that in our house Santa comes through the doggy door.  We are so thankful to our dog Worf for letting Santa in.
Everyone is busy now playing with their toys that Santa brought.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tree saplings

I heard that Home Depot has a pile of Christmas tree saplings and they are free.  So I picked up a bundle.

I had a few old chocolate and licorice cans, and they made perfect containers for the branches.

And I had also made a few Christmas tree pins to continue my abandoning, but instead of that I gave them to the ladies in the post office and one to my mail lady.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


It's a rare occasion that we are all in one photograph.  But here we are.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I 'borrowed' this photo from a friend that posted it on Facebook.  This is home, this is where I grew up.  It does look a little different, the statue of Alexander the Great on his horse is new, it wasn't there 17 years ago.  Somewhere off to the side of this location is also where Mother Theresa of Calcutta was born. 
For a long time I didn't really miss Skopje, my city.  I didn't really miss my country, Macedonia.  I miss it now.  And although I most likely will never live there again I sometimes like to daydream about it.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

A little devil inside an angel

She looks like a little angel, but there is a tiny devil inside her.  When my husband picked her up from preschool yesterday, she told her class: Goodbye suckers!!

Photo: The best kiss ever!
Goodbye suckers??????
Ahhhhhh I love her!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Leftover ribbon and lace

Some leftover pieces of ribbon and lace, too small for a big project, were perfect for making and decorating these tiny felt trees we made.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


I was picking up and tidying my workspace so I can start working on some Christmas stuff.  I got sidetracked when I came across a set of shrinky-dinks that I had submitted to a magazine but they got returned and rejected.

Originally I though I put a lot of creative energy in these.  They weren't just baked plastic, I crocheted a very delicate lace around them.  But seeing them now, months later, I see they weren't finished.  Surely, the lace made them unique, but they were still plain.  They needed much more to get the attention they deserve.
Their need for attention trapped me, and instead of making Christmas ornaments I found myself stitching.
I had this idea that the shrinkies should be a part of a pouch, a little tiny pocket, in which you could 'hide' a secret note, a spell, a lucky penny.....thus on the top I added a button and a button hole.  You can open it and put in whatever little secret you want to hide.  :-)

After few hours of stitching, this is what became out of the original shrinkies. 

I also got to use the hand-dyed seam binding I bought from a local artist a few weeks ago.  It made for a perfect necklace cord.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Somerset Studio Gallery

Ahhhh, my mail lady has been delivering exciting mail to me.  Last week I got a complimentary copy of the Sew Somerset, where my fabric pins appeared.  And this week she brought me Somerset Studio Gallery where my stitch hearts are spread over two pages.

What is really, really cool is that an artist who I admire, also had her work in both of these magazines.  Her work is actually on the cover of Somerset Studio Gallery you see below.

Her name is Colette Copeland.  I visit her blog all the time.

PS.  If you are interested in the 'evolution' of these hearts, see my post here.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Red scarf project

A couple of weeks ago we went to downtown Mesa, they had a street fair with steampunk theme.  We stumbled upon a yarn shop that I had no idea was there.  I had to check it out.  After all I learned to crochet before I learned any other crafty techniques.  It is how it all started really, with crochet.
The yarn store was like a candy store, with caddies of colorful soft yarn.  They also had several looms and yarn spinners (I think that's what they are called).  But most important of all there was a table of knitters, knitting red scarfs.
'Are you all knitters?' I asked.
'Are you a knitter?' one of them asked me back.
'No, I am a hooker.'
These yarn enthusiasts got my joke.  See there is other types of hookers, the ones like myself who use crochet hooks.  I asked about the red scarfs they were making.  It is all part of a project called 'Red Scarf Project'.  It is supported by Foster Care to Success, a group who sends care packages to kids who are no longer in foster care, but are now out on their own to college.
I volunteered to make a scarf and finished it on Thanksgiving.  I now have to drop it off at the yarn store.  The red scarf will be part of the care packages the group will send to former foster kids for Valentine's Day. 

I like making things and gifts and giving them away.  Maybe part of it is out of some sort of 'guilt' I can't explain; that I am well and fortunate to have kids, a husband, parents that are alive, a brother, a niece and a nephew, sister in laws, and many other family and friends who I keep in touch with.  Knowing that there are people out there who don't have all that I makes me sad.  I know I can't fix sad things in this world, but perhaps occasionally I can make a little difference to someone.  Because in this big, loud world, it is the small things that count the most.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The night before Phoenix Craft Rave

In preparation for Phoenix Craft Rave 2012 I thought it would only be appropriate that I make me a special craft apron for the occasion. 
I almost never start garments from scratch anymore.  I rather alter something that was destined for Goodwill or the clothing recycling place.  This apron is half of a skirt.  I used old jeans pockets that I made 'pretty' prior to attaching them on the apron.

I added all kinds of little embellishments: lace, I stamped fabric and made appliques with a face of a woman and a love quote, I added some charms and an old key Patrick found at the playground and gave it to me.

I added something even super special (to me at least).  I added a little gypsy bell I bought some time ago at the Bead Museum in Glendale, AZ.  I wanted a bell to remind me that life is good and precious and it's meant to be enjoyed.  I needed this reminder at times of frustrations at life difficulties.  During those times I find myself crafting anyways, it was the perfect time to have a chiming bell. 

I just packed all of the crafting supplies for the Craft Rave tomorrow: fabric, shrink plastic, stamps, inks, fabric markers, spray sealer and an oven.  With these I will teach other crafty people how to make rings out of fabric and out of shrinky dink plastic.  I am looking forward to have a lot of fun.
On a side note, look what came in the mail a few days ago:

And look what's on page 118.  My work.

The magazine will be on newsstands on Dec.1.