Thursday, June 23, 2011

Keys to My Heart ~~ The Brave Heart

The Brave Heart
Keys to My Heart series

designed by Feathers in the Nest
copyright 2011

using Gentle Art Fragrant Roses and Brethren Blue on 32 count antique ivory linen

Matthew Brandon is the name in 1986, on one cool September night, to give to my son. He was born almost exactly 1 year after I delivered my deceased son, Aaron, who died at birth.  I picked out the named Matthew as it means "a gift from God" and I felt truly blessed.

 There are many meanings depicted in research for the name Brandon, which is of Irish origin. The one that I really didn't realize would become his passion and who he is, ironically, is the Irish meaning, "Brave Prince".

And that is his strength.

There is personal meaning designed in this sampler.

I think so much of the military is focused on spouses, and they DO need alot of support through war.
From my experience, the military does not address the concerns of mothers of soldiers enough in this area of the country, which I hope I see changed in my lifetime.

During his Afghanistan tour, there were many emotional ups and downs for all extended and immediate family members, as was to be expected by all. I remember rubbing my palms raw at the community send-off ceremony. And honestly, I don't think he is or was mature enough to understand. He will though one day when he has his own. He will.

A Lieutenant called our home during this time for other information from us out of the blue. We talked and exchanged concerns and with the help of the chaplain, who had the kindest heart in the world and I owe alot to him........finally, I expressed it in one sentence. Of course, they hear mothers who are concerned and honestly, the helplessness of it is in need of some attention.

I said in complete random to this highly honorable man, "Sir, you have to remember, you wouldn't have this soldier without his mother/me giving him life."

 Of course, I realize that I have left out fathers in this and did not on purpose as they too, wring their hands and worry and try to support and stay strong.

But, I'm speaking from my heart and where these keys will stay forever regardless of a given situation.

~~~From every moutainside,
Let freedom ring
 from Our Country Tis of Thee

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New start and the why, when, and what for Tuesday

This morning is very hot and humid again, just like the past 3 days in North Georgia. Summer is definitely here. I think we are officially there too according to the calender!

Yesterday was a miserable day with the eye.
Woke with a migraine and more pain.  I think the implant was drying out in spite of using the solutions and at 8pm last night it worked itself out to the corner and half-way out of my eye, so I had no choice but to remove it. I didn't realize the comfort over the raw area it was giving me until after it came out. Bottom line, I will not let this win. I will make it until my appt Thursday and the good news is I don't have to drive 30 miles today in the bright sun to get it removed! ;)  This morning it feels  much better than last night for sure!

I try not to focus on this as it may be a downer to some, but I've had many write and want me to keep in touch and my eye issue is taking MUCH time out of stitching right now.

 This morning I started on a very small design I'm making. Here's a peek. I'm using 2 overdyed threads. The blue is Gentle Art Brethren Blue but on the fabric it almost looks black. The red is Gentle Art Faded Rose. I thought both would look good in this small design on 32 count Antique Ivory linen for a frame I found in a thrift shop. ( I think I put this on the blog a week or so ago)

Taking a break from Ann Hill to get this one done. Probably will only take a day or two. Then back to Ann Hill.

This design is made in honor of my son, Brandon, and will be a part of my Americana sampler wall that is growing.

The design is unique and hope it will look good in this frame.

Some questions and answers from recent emails and posts:

  • Are you going to sell your designs? 
Yes, I had projected to start earlier than where I am now. When?  most likely this Fall as I try to continue getting my office ready for printing, supplies, eye issues settled, etc.  But, I will have them for sale in print format.

  • How many designs have you made?
Approximately 40-45 have been graphed. I cannot afford a model stitcher at this time, so I AM the model stitcher and work as I can in consideration of outside factors.

  • Who is Body Guard?
I use the word Body Guard to protect the identity of my husband as online is kinda "putting everything out there" and I would not want to interfere with or cause problems with his career/job. We laugh about the nickname actually as I have used it for about 3-4 years now.

  • Why did you name your blog Feathers in the Nest?
I originally wanted to write a book many years ago, mainly about things I have survived and the consequences of choices. I also was drawn to this name because I LOVE to work on our home and "feather our nest".
So, it became a  natural name for what I love to do. Needlework is a big part of feathering the nest as well as making a house, a home.
  • How will you sell your designs, Etsy, Ebay, website, Nest Feathers Shoppe?? 
Well, this is something I'm still thinking about very hard. For the most part I like Etsy, but there were some things sold on there that I personally would be embarrassed to have my name associated with it. They did protest these prolific, hurtful greeting cards which targeted parents with children with Down's Syndrome, and Rape Survivors. I was VERY happy to see they did respond to this and get it off a site that is very fun to cruise and has many other GOOD things from great designers.
I actually have a website and have had one for about 6 months but again, haven't designed it so it's hanging out there for work right now.

  • Why do you not use a brick and mortar business for framing?
I have no problems with brick and mortar business's for supplies or framing. However, I, like many Americans right now, have to consider the economy and save when I can. Also, I actually like to frame my own pieces and have help from hubbie if I need it. I have used other's to frame and loved the results but I couldn't feasible regularly pay this amount of money to have framing completed, especially when I can do it and save for more stitchy stuff!!!!  ;)

  • Who is my favorite designer?
I can't really name one in particular as I LOVE many, many designers work. I tend to love antique samplery or reproduction work. And one particular weakness is Dutch samplers and motifs.

  • What is my favorite count linen?
Well, my favorite is simply 32 count due to more comfort for my eyes. However, I love 35 count as well and this is what Ann Hill repro sampler is stitched on currently. While I have stitched 40 count, it's makes my eyes water even though I use magnifier and glasses so I usually stay within 28-36 count linen.

  • What are my favorite fibers?
Well, I  love Crescent Colors. But I use Gentle Art, Weeks, and plain DMC cotton as well. I especially LOVE silks, Glorianna and Vickki Clayton silks but usually use cottons for cost reasons. There are still many others I want to explore!

  • What inspires you to design a sampler?
Many factors, in particular, the environment I live where freedom, simplicity, creativity, nature and historical buildings abound. We live near a touristy area of Helen, Ga. which is an Alpine village that encourages creativity and free-spirits! We also have many beautiful old, old buildings which I would love to incorporate into local samplery motifs one day.

  • How old is Abigail Rennee and what kind of breed is she?
Abigail, or Abbie, was adopted in November 2009, born in Sept 2009 from a Chihauhau breeder local to our area and well-known for Chi lodging and breeding for years. She is a long-haired Chi who provides us with more love and joy than you can imagine. Her name Rennee was given in memory of my older Chi who passed away last July. Ren, who was 17 years old.

  • What other interests do you have besides stitching? 
Well, that is a broad question. I'm always working on something! I am a certified Legal Nurse Consultant of which I became certified 4 years ago and have consulted with only a few cases due to time and other priorities but I definitely have legal interests, usually background work for attorneys on cases.
I also am a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner, of which I have been for almost 20 years now, a RN for 26 years and work part-time in a private practice. I really enjoy helping others heal hurts and prevent disease.
I also love to read and write (I know you figured that out!!!!!). I have always loved to write and find it easier than speaking in public. Ironically, my hubbie presents lectures occasionally in law enforcement and loves teaching large crowds. But opposites do attract!  LOL
I also play the piano, not as much now, but have a life-long music history and once, in college had several music scholarships but changed my major to science. I still have a piano and tickle the keys on occasion.

  • Where do you find such good thrift stores?
I find that this area is rich in thrift stores, antique stores, and primitive shops. I especially love Dahlonega, Ga's stores on the square, thrifts stores in Cleveland and Helen, Ga., and I'm game for any yard sales or auctions. I really love auctions!!! ;)  Hearts and Flowers is my favoirite primitive store.

  • How do you group samplers in your home?
I tend to have certain areas for sampler walls but I also have needlework finishes throughout the house in spots, usually smaller samplers. Each bedroom has sampler walls and one of the stairways particularly holds Americana work. Where the sampler is placed is usually by the predominant colors or theme. I think it's something for everyone to decide what works for them in their home as this is just my way of doing things and certainly other ways work well too.

  • Is it ok to change your design freebies to something different?
Well, I copyright my designs, so any major changes, I wouldn't encourage as this is copyright infringement. Changing the initals or dates are ok, but other changes I don't encourage as I spend a good deal of time graphing it out to be what it is.

I love your email and comments!  Keep it coming!!!! Interacting with folks who share my passions is the best. I find I learn alot in networking and also try to help when I can.

  I hope you have a great Tuesday and enjoy the flowers and music that life is bringing to you today!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday cleaning around the homestead

I'm not one to sit still long and we knew the porches needed SOOOO much cleaning so BodyGuard and I took a drive to Big Lots and he repainted a bench that I got at an auction ..........about 6 months ago...hmmm.....yep.....and even though we accepted the fact that the porches can't be painted till September due to the Summer afternoon rains.....we went ahead and cleaned the scruffy floors again. It's an endless task.

And it is HOOOOMID right now in North Georgia!

This bench at auction from the rear seat looked about 5 foot........when I won it for 30.00 and went up to get it, it measured 7 foot!  Oops...... so outside on the front it goes.

Makes a great little spot for Miss Flossie Mae to have a cushion to nap on.

Got the cushion at Big Lots, along with this 9 foot outdoor rug. The first time I had been to a Big Lots in 10 years.

 I forgot how fun it was.

At Lowe's we picked up some shade-loving plants but I think this will have to wait a couple of days. Got too tired.

I love porches.

I always have loved porches.

I grew up in a house without a porch but would go sit for long hours down the road at a neighbor's house and rocked till the sun went down! ;)

So, that was an important thing to me when we picked out this house because we both love porches.

And we got plenty of them too.

Changed some cushions in the front porch swing which is quite nice on Summer evenings.

And even though the porch floors are a bit scruffy, we call it Home.

And yes, Flossie Mae has taken well to the outdoors.

She has brought us her first remnants of a mouse to the porch. If you heard a scream, it was me.

She hasn't got used to the "scream" when I see the "gifts" she leaves. Thomas has long gotten used to it but Flossie goes up a tree.

Hanging on and backing down on her own. She has to learn,

while other creatures that are only inside the homestead, resume napping.......

in her Little Black Dress

She's the sweetest furbaby. By the way, she sends out a Father's Day greeting to her doggie daddy who the breeder said is named "Tuff". Yep, she's Tuff's girl. LOL

And this is Home......

Hope you had a great Sunday!  We plan on relaxing for the rest of the evening and resting my eyes for a new day tomorrow.

Good night John Boy.

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my Father who has blessed me, comforted me, and been there. He made me, knows me, and accepts me for what I am. There is no better Father than this.

Hope you day is full of joy and remembrance.
I am very thankful for my Father.


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