Tuesday, March 1, 2016

It’s March 1, it’s almost the start of my very favorite time of the year, spring! Just 20 more days left and it’s official. I think I’ve always loved Spring so much, and found it to be my favorite season, because it is time for things to be new and fresh and colorful after a long dreary winter, especially here in the Pacific Northwest.

Many of you might remember that one of the reasons I fell away from Northwest Pretties in mid 2012 was when it was decided that a new house was going to be built to replace the manufactured house the property was purchased with. And, that “I” would be the contractor on that project! There just wasn’t time for both. You may also remember that the New House was signed for occupancy around this time in 2014, yet many projects remained on the list of things to complete … i.e., rock walls, landscape, concrete, moving in, decorating, etc … all very time consuming and distracting.

What most of you do not know is that right on the heels of this remarkable and exciting event of building a dream house, my mother took a turn for the worse in her Alzheimer's disease, when it became apparent that she would no longer be required to continue with her tri-yearly clinical evaluations in the progression of her condition. She had reached the maximum stage of mental degeneration. All that would remain would be the slow process of her physical degeneration[s.]

Living out of state and being the oldest of her surviving children was met with some tough challenges, emotionally, spiritually & physically. I traveled back and forth as much as possible. A week here, 10 days there and I was always available for the long, long phone calls in between those visits with my little brother and little sister. We held each other up through some very heartbreaking events that unfolded as this cruel disease manifested over the next year and a half.

But we did it. My little brother provided her daily care. Friends and neighbors helped look after her. My little sister and I did as much as possible {distance} and then with the assistance of nurses and hospice helping all of us, my mom got to stay in her home. (It was her greatest fear that she would die alone in a nursing home.) On Nov. 11th 2015 my mom passed away, in her home with her 3 surviving children, me by her side.

One of the last “conversations” I had with my mother was about me. I had come for a visit and when I walked in the door from the airport, I said “Hi Mom, it’s me, Susan” as I leaned in to give her a hug and kiss, she looked at me without words. My little brother popped up and said, “Mom, it’s Susan, from Seattle.” My mom raised her head and said, “I have a daughter that lives in Seattle, she owns her own business and makes the most beautiful things, do you know her?” I told her that I did, very well. She carried on about all the “beautiful” things I had created over the years and flowers I had arranged for garden shows, and awards and all about this and that.

It’s almost Spring. The perfect time for me to use as a fresh, new out-look on everything! I have the spirit churning... the buds are bursting, the birds are singing and I'm ready. I do love what I do, so much. I love creating beautiful things! And I can't wait to jump in. =)

And mom would be proud.

Stay tuned for some new “Northwest Pretties” offerings and announcements. Be sure to follow me on Facebook if you have not, name: Northwest Pretties.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Blue Monday

Blue Monday with Sally and her friends has arrived again. Start the week off in style by visiting her ~*~ just click on the logo.
Smiling Sally

This is a picture I took in Tallin, Estonia this past July. I went on a Baltic Sea Cruise. I truly LOVED all of the ancient and fabulous architecture! ~I hope you enjoy this shot of an old doorway from a cobblestone street.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Marie A. Mail Art Group ~ 4x4 Favorite Flowers Book


I am starting to dream of Spring. Everyone knows how much Marie Antoinette loved the flowers from her gardens. Envelope her in some favorites for this blooming book of beauty! ~ Rhonda

On the FRONT of the page, please be sure to leave 1/4 to 1/2 inch free of embellishments, ribbons, etc. to account for binding on the LEFT hand margin. On the BACK of the page, please be sure to leave the same amount, but on the RIGHT hand margin. To bind, I have to place each page into the binder approximately ONE INCH DEEP. I need to have this area accessible to allow for this.

Create one original Marie Antoinette 4 x 4 page and duplicate for each member.

Please use card stock or heavier, no paper pages. Embellish your copies to you heart's content. You can use any type of embellishments but please remember to leave the margins clear as stated above. Otherwise I will have to alter your page.

If your embellishments extend off of the 4x4 page, that is fine UNLESS it is on the left margin or the bottom of the page. Most artists like to display their book standing up and if your embellishments are hard and extend off of the bottom of the page then the book cannot stand up. Thanks!

Put your name and any other info you would like to share (email address, blog/flickr page) on the back of your page, and decorate. Please remember that this is a book and BOTH sides of your page will be viewed.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Special Orders Completed

It ALWAYS feels good to get your orders all finished up! And just in time for my trip to Reno!! YAY -

The name blocks were done for my husband's cousin, Melanie. The names are of her daughter's for a birthday gift! So sweet aren't they?

And another order I finished up for Becky! 7 hand painted Easter Eggs!

Marie's Favorite Flower - 4x4 Book Swap

TYPE OF SWAP: ADVANCE 4 x 4 Chunky Book Page

I am starting to dream of Spring. Everyone knows how much Marie Antoinette loved the flowers from her gardens. Envelope her in some favorites for this blooming book of beauty!

Number of pages to make was 8 (one for each member's book.)
One of the members then bindd the books and sendd them back to each entry for a Spring celebration Chunky Book!!

This is the funnest type of swap there is as far as I'm concerned! These darling books are so sweet and inspirational. This swap makes my total 3! See the past posts on this blog to see the others, Valentines Day '10 and Christmas '09.

I hope you enjoy my page for the Favorite Flower Book! I used vintage images from a 1929 book which featues the hollyhocks and canterbury bells! Marie's garden would not be complete without her Roses and Maine Coon Kitties, "Poppy" and "Alexander."

Marie Art ~ Felted Easter Eggs

Here was the challenge:
Make Easter eggs using felt in pastel colors, make 4 get 4 back, make eggs approx. 3" size, stuff them with fiber fill to make them a bit puffy, add scent if desire (optional) decorate with embellishments using lace, ribbon,flowers,jewels and beads, whatever you like. This will be a partners list so you will get 2 partners and send 2 eggs ea. You will get the same back 2 partners in return.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

2010 ~ Hand Painted Easter Eggs ~

Every Year, for the past 9 years, I have been hand painting these lovely wooden easter eggs! They have become a favorite to many of the customers I have established with eBay. I have already listed and sold 24 this year. There are 5 currently on auction and I'll be adding 3 more in just awhile. I hope to make it to 30 before the Easter arrives!!

Click on my eBay auction tab on the right to find the current eggs listed.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I Finished my Marie Inspired Felted Hearts!

Our Challenge was to:
Sew 3" hearts, using felt. There are many pretty colors to find in felt, please use Pastel colors.Wool or Polyester blend is fine for this project, but If you're using wool felt, please ask your partner before hand if she's allergic to wool first
For one hearts cut 2 pieces of felt in the shape of a heart 3"... for the center stuffing you can use sheet batting it's flat and easier to work with. or you can double your felt and use that for the inside stuffing.
You can make these either hanging ornaments or hanging sachets to hang in your closet, using ribbon, string or fibers.
For embellishing use lace, trims,ribbons, and mini flowers, or anything that's pretty. You can add your sachet inside before you sew together.(using sachet scents optional)
These can be hand sewn or machine sewn, embellishments can be attached with a clear fabric glue, felt is easy to sew, these are quick and easy. In the photo above I sewed my hearts together by hand using a blanket stitch, the embellishments I used a clear fabric glue, the choice is yours. Thanks everyone, enjoy!

Here are my Hearts:

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed working with the wonderful fabric! The next swap is for "Felted Eggs" and you all know how much I love the soft pastels of Spring!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake ATC 3/3 Swap

Here is the newest ATC swap I joined...
In celebration of Marie Antionette Mail Art being one year old on 1/24/10 I am doing a cake theme. Your cards do not have to say "Let them eat cake" unless you want, BUT they do have to each have at least one cake. Thanks Rebecca for hosting!