Friday, August 29, 2008

A Lovely Award...

I received this lovely award from Lisa Renea at She makes all of these really, really, great cards. She is involved with a group called Cards for Heroes where she makes cards and then sends them to the men and women serving in the military. You have to check out her blog it's adorable, and congratulate her too, she just go married!

I have to now pick 7 of my favorite blogs and the rules are:
1. The winner can put the logo on their blog
2. Link the person you received your award from
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the girls or boys you’ve nominated I'm passing this award on to these wonderful and talented blog friends.

Karen at
Suzanne at
Jess at
Charlotte at
Heather at
Deb at
Natalea at

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Three things that influence me...

Lana at is having a give away. She wants to know what inspires you most in your art work, your home, and your decorating. Three things that seem to repeat themselves over and over in my life are first, old fabric. I love faded, well warn fabric. The kind that tells a life time of stories just by looking at it. The second thing I tend to be influenced by is rustic, old, wooden furniture. We have an old stool that belonged to Andrew's grandfather. It was his grandfather's milking stool and now Fiona and Alexa use it to reach the counter. The third thing that influences me are lots and lots of photos. I take pictures of everything and I display them everywhere! Two of my favorite pictures are very old photos of my grandfather's relatives. They are framed in tiger wood frames with beveled glass. They are black and white photos that have been touched up with oil paint for color. They date from the turn of the 20th century. When I look at them I like to think that they would be proud of the decendents they have left behind. Well those are my three things that influence my crafts, my home and my decorating. Head on over to Lana's wonderful blog and tell her yours!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A simple daisy, a wine glass...

Camp mj flower
Originally uploaded by cshella
My parents have camped for as long as I can remember. When we were kids we tent camped and cabin camped. Almost always we roughed it. We had a blast! We would go with a whole group of people; there were probably fifteen kids in the group and we all hung out together while camping. My father played the guitar and he would play around the camp fire. When my sister and I were little we thought this was great, when we were teen agers we thought it wasn't so great. Now that I have children of my own, I really love it when he gets out his guitar around the camp fire. Camping to me is the only true form of relaxation. Fancy vacations are wonderful, but they are not relaxing. Sitting in the woods, with a journal or a craft project, watching the kids throw rocks in a stream, that, to me, is what relaxation is all about.

A relaxing bottle of wine...

Camp mj close up
Originally uploaded by cshella
My mother likes nothing more sometimes than to just sit by the camp fire with a glass of wine. Raspberry Reisling is her favorite but when I tried to write that on the bottle it just didn't fit! She also likes Road House Red by Breitenbach Winery and that is a very red wine. Breitenbach is a winery in Millerburg, Ohio. This is the heart of Amish Country and The winery has been there as long as I can remember. It is always packed with people during tourist season. I remember one year my father fell in love with an Apricot wine they had. He was crushed when he went back to buy another bottle and they had sold out. He asked the woman behind the counter how many days before they get more in and she responded with "try a couple of years." My father said "what do you mean a couple of years?" It was at this point that she explained to him how the apricots have to be picked, the wine made, and then aged! Two years later he went back and got several bottles of Apricot wine!

An embroidered gift for my mom...

Camp MJ full view
Originally uploaded by cshella
My parents have a big camper (the kind with a seperate bedroom!) that they house permanently at a campground in Homerville Ohio. It's just on the edge of Amish Country and is about thirty five minutes from my house. I designed and embroidered this little wine glass and bottle for her to put in the camper. The embroidery itself looks a little more primitive than I had intended (I am not an illustrator or a painter so this design stuff is all so very new to me.) but my mother actually liked it that way. So it all worked out in the end. I used beads for the grapes, as I still have no patience for French knots and I added a bead for the wine glass charm. Other than that I kept this very simple and I hope everyone likes it!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Ohio Outdoor Quilt Festival

Last Saturday (it's taken me over a week to post about it) the girls and I went to The Ohio Outdoor Quilt Festival. The festival took place at an Elk farm called Bonnie Brae Farms in Wellington, Ohio. There were over 400 quilts on display! I was worried at first that the girls would be bored and wouldn't want to be there but they loved it. Since all of the quilts were displayed out side ( it was a very casual atmosphere) you could walk right up to the quilts and touch them and really look at the fabric and the quilting. I've never seen so many beautifully made things in my life. Some of the quilts on display were very old, one actually dated from 1843. There were several crazy quilts made during World War II and one that was made three years ago for breast cancer awareness. The girls and I had a really good time and I was glad they were able to get so close to these wonderful works of art. On an embroidery note I have finished my mother's embroidery for their camper but I won't have pictures until tomorrow. It's been cloudy here for a couple of days (no rain though, not a drop since the third week in July!) and there just hasn't been enough natural light to satisfy me. The sun came out about an hour ago so tomorrow I should have pictures! I have also started a Halloween embroidery, at this rate I may actually have to replenish my stash of embroidery floss!

Fiona's and Alexa's Favorite...

Girls in front of tulip quilt
Originally uploaded by cshella
The girls loved this quilt. They kept referring to it as the tulip quilt even though there are no tulips on it. What was so nice about this show was that you could walk up to and touch most of the quilts. (At least those that were not hanging from the roof of the barn!) The girls could walk up to each one, look at the design and the stiches and see how it was made. This particular one was hand quilted!! Talk about a magnificent piece of art!

The Pepper Quilt!

Pepper quilt_edited-1
Originally uploaded by cshella
Isn't this quilt great!! The whole thing is done around peppers and hot sause. This picture does not do it justice but this is what my daughter's allowed me to take before they wanted to move on and see more! The center quares are different kinds of peppers and the border is all different kinds of pepper sauces and hot sauces. I just thought this was so whimsical and fantastic. The quilting on it was also superb!


quilt of woman
Originally uploaded by cshella
I don't know the actual title of this quilt but I loved it. It was hung on a small garden barn above these lovely black eyed susan's. Believe it or not, Fiona and Alexa spotted it before I did. Fiona thought at first that the lady on the quilt was rocking a baby but upon closer inspection, she looks like she is baking something. It was about 40" x40" and was just beautiful. It was very unique and looked wonderful hanging above the flowers.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My first Award...

I am so very excited and grateful to Karen at nordic craft for giving me my first blogging award ever! Karen is young, sweet, creative and full of inspiration. She lives in Sweden and I have been following her blog for about three months and I love it. You must go check it out. She also has a brand new niece named Stella who is just beautiful. Listed below are the rules for this award, since this is my first award please forgive me for any mistakes I might make!

1. Only five people allowed.
2. Four have to be dedicated followers of your blog.
3. One has to be someone new or recently new to your blog and live in another part of the world
4. You must link back to whoever gave you the award.
Okay, here are the five people I am giving this award to:
Terri at Originals By Terri . She is relatively new to my blog. She makes the prettiest earrings and uses all kinds of different stones. She gets excited about stones the way I do about fiber!
Then there is Tammy at The Other Side of Meri. She is such a sweet person and does all kinds of crafty things. The stuff she makes is great and her blog is adorable.
Sara at has a great blog that lets you peek in at the whole wine making lifestyle. Not only are there good recipes and tips but heartwarming stories as well.
Lilli at Make Mine Blissful does wonders with a sewing machine! Her quiltlets and fabric tags are fantastic. She does some incredible things with pictures and quilting and she always has a kind word to say.
Finally, Ragged Roses comes from England and always has wonderful things on her blog. She takes wonderful photographs of all the lovely gardens she and her husband visit. She also makes these great lavender sachets and always has a good story to tell.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Finally! Some embroidered sunflowers...

First let me say that I am so sorry it has taken me soooo long to get this posted! The last two weeks at the Shella household have been just crazy. We've had stray kitten issues to deal with, some financial issues to deal with, and we've had family obligations. What can I say, Life Happens! I actually completed this about a week ago. It took me a few days to figure out how I wanted to mount it. I finally settled on sewing the dryer sheet to a piece of cotton fabric, (I used the same fabric that I used for the center of the sunflowers) then mounting the fabric over an 8 x 10 stretched canvas board. I adhered the cotton fabric with spray mount then finished it off with a ribbon border. I was very pleased with how it turned out. I am not an artist so I was a little nervous about my designing capabilities. Thanks so much for every one's encouraging words! I don't have a lot of contact with crafty/artsy people in the real world. Between Andrew's work hours and the girl's needs there is not much time for me to actually join a group. This online community has really inspired my spirit and given me a lot of motivation! Thank you!!

A tiny bee for some tiny sunflowers...

I added this little bee as an after thought. I had finished the sunflowers and was thinking about how I wanted to display them when I looked out the window and noticed that the bumble bees were enjoying the sunflowers as much as we were! The girls like to go out there and watch the bees work. Being that bumble bees are not agressive (like yellow jackets) they could get up close and watch them do their thing. I had a lot ot fun doing this project. It was very satisfying knowing that the design and everything came from me. I think I like embroidery (all needle work really) because to me it's kind of like drawing with thread. If it can be drawn, it can be sewn!

I was finally able to get a picture of the yellow finches that feed off of our sunflowers. They are pretty elusive so attracting them to the yard has been a big deal. They don't come around very often but they LOVE sunflower seeds. Well right now there are plenty of seeds to go around! This little guy was perched here for about twenty minutes the other day getting his fill of seeds. They are a little territorial too; he would chase other birds away while he was there! Getting a little greedy I'd say. I am working on another embroidery right now. Hopefully it won't take me as long to post pictures of it. I drew a picture of a wine glass and a wine bottle with a flower sticking out of it. My parents have a seasonal campsite that we frequent with the girls often. I'm making this for my mother. It's going to say "Camp M.J." when it is complete. (Her full name is MaryJane.) I hope everyone has a great week! (For all of you moms of school aged kids, only a couple of more weeks before school starts.)