Author Archives: theresastales

About theresastales

I am a childrens writer, animal lover, crafter of many things and enjoy being around people. My house is filled with sound, that of my birds, cats and dogs.

Moving forward to the new year

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Here I sit with my puppy at my side. He is tucked in as if we were together in a big cocoon in a winter storm. He loves to cuddle, his tiny wet nose against my cheek when I hold him close.

He doesn’t know it yet, but most of the time I will be rooted in the chair crafting my next story, will it be the fish story where he swam to far and couldn’t find his way home. Or perhaps the one about the two birds trying to fly. Who knows at this point.

What I know is that there will be writing, lots of it. Some will say I’m being anti-social due to the fact I need to write. I live to write. Being a part of Story storm helps me to stay focused and get the word count in for the day.

Write on I say. Write on.

A Quilters hands getting dirty

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Recently while getting ready for another craft show, I was putting the finishing touches on a small quilt that I would be adding to the inventory. I had a long list of things to do that Friday before the show, one of them was to water my plants. One of my african violets was displaying for me the prettiest pink bloom. I had not seen a bloom on any of them in several weeks. One of the older violets seemed to be struggling a bit. 

       When I examined its roots, I knew why. It was in a pot too large, I had read somewhere they like to be in close quarters, sort of like me and my sisters growing up. I decided it was a good time to examine all of the violets because the others weren’t blooming either. I rolled up my sleeves, gathered some pots from a friend, and made room to get to work. Well in order to accomplish this task without to many interruptions I took my dogs for a walk first. The fresh air was a welcome break in the day, the birds were chirping, there were plenty of leaves down. The fact that it is November gave me a gentle reminder that at this time last year, the leaves were covered in snow.

When I got back home I refilled my coffee cup and set out to give my violets a new and better home. I know….its a dirty job but so necessary for the life of the plant. Two and a half hours later, all the violets in the bay window in my kitchen look much healthier and happy. I ventured into the diningroom and took a look at some violets there, these were much newer plants but they needed a slightly larger pot to grow in. African violets don’t have a large root base, even though they may look like a bigger pot is the better choice. I have learned, smaller is better.

           I must have been too long away from my dog, he was jumping at me. He wanted his mama and it was time for me to take a break.  I picked him up, gave him some love and turned to stare at my work. My bay window looked rather spacious, what with all the plants in the proper pots. I intend to do more transplanting over the holiday. But for now my dog and I have discovered an empty chair where he will sleep and I will take a few stitches in my quilt project. Is it any wonder that the design in the quilt is flowers. I like to think of it as a thing of beauty.

Bailey, I miss you

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What a lovely fall day this is. I was out early walking my dogs, the fresh air in my face. Anticipating my first cup of coffee and the blank page.  With too many years behind me, I had dreams of one day writing a book about my birds. I actually did start the writing process, I have several chapters of the first draft written. Then work got in the way, my mom and sister were both sick, there just didn’t seem like a right time to spend working on it. So I put it aside.

Then came another writing workshop and I brought out the half done pages of the book. I loved what I had completed but once again I let life and work get in the way. But why did I have so many regrets about not finishing the book. Maybe because my love of quilting took over. I was sewing and quilting non-stop. I’m programmed to quilt, and ideas are everywhere.

I’ve always been a writer, the ideas are everywhere and I go to workshops. I admit to having many interests and passions that carry me away. One of those passions is my pets, let me just put this out there, get it off my chest. Bailey, my baby, the love of my life, my African gray. He made every day wonderful, such a sweet bird who thought he was human. When he took his last breath, it was gut wrenching. The pain of losing him is still there, like losing my mom and my sister.  Bailey was family. Not only did I lose Bailey but my other birds lost a good friend. My Harvey, my Amazon parrot felt the loss as much as I did. Grief and loss are a big part of living with pets because they are your family. I know now that is why I stop working on the novel, that chapter hasn’t been written.

Time has passed and I think, no I know I can get it done. It won’t be easy but I will get it done. My non-fiction novel is back on my radar and I will see it finished. One day soon I will be able to type, The End. I’m excited. Bailey wherever you are my love, I miss you every day.

Quilts of Promise

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Off to work I go, it’s Sunday morning. I’m looking forward to the day, the sunshine and fresh air, the birds are chirping contently. After my shift, I am eager to get home and walk my dogs. They are waiting, those little feet of my puppy dance back and forth until we are out the gate.

I’m anxious to get some flower bulbs in, get my hands in the soil, let the growing begin. There are Canna bulbs, Begonia and Calla to plant and a few others. The dogs, back from their walk are roaming the yard, playful and glad to be spending time outside. I visit the greenhouse, where a huge bumblebee greets me buzzing around.  Once he escapes I start planting some bulbs. My knee is rebelling, but I push onward, there is much to be done today.

I refill my coffee cup and now I’m charged up and ready to rock and roll, yes that’s correct. Rock and roll right down to my sewing room to quilt. I’m working on three different quilts at one time. I actually make it a goal to stitch on each quilt every day until they are complete. As far as I’m concerned a day without quilting is not a complete day, I live to quilt. So call me crazy but I get it done. So there I sit working on the floral embroidered quilt which is in the hoop. My puppy wants in my lap under the hoop, he’s whimpering, let me in. But it isn’t working out in his favor, I’m still wearing my scrub top from work, he crawls inside of it and there he stayed for the next two hours while I quilted.  Now that’s what a mom does, makes room for baby.

It was time to take a break from that quilt and work on Sunbonnet Sue, the outer border is nearly complete and I need to cut the binding.  It will be prints from the 30’s to match the other fabrics. I took this quilt outside and sat with the dogs in the yard, what a lovely afternoon it was.  Once dinner was finished, I tackled my crazy quilt that I’m doing for the guild challenge. It is pretty cool, very colorful and I’m excited about it, I’ll be thrilled when it is done. Tomorrow is another day, I’m excited, but first I will rest my aching knee and sleep. Stay tuned to see the completed quilts very soon.

My four seasons quilt

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I have really enjoyed working on this quilt challenge, I get myself involved in a few challenges each year. This one is all about the four seasons in Michigan. It’s hard to imagine, do we really experience four seasons. It’s hard to identify in a quilt I think, unless the quilt is four feet wide and ten feet tall.

But alas, it is much smaller, I have shed some light on each of the four seasons in my crazy quilt. My quilt guild chose the theme, set some guidelines, and a deadline. I like deadlines for that reason, I know getting involved with the challenge what I’m up against, how much time I have to do it. Then I need to have a game plan. This is when I can get really creative with different threads, fabrics and fibers. But then I ask myself, about halfway through, did I take on to much. Can I finish it.

Crazy quilting is one of my absolute favorite forms of quilting, but it takes a lot of room and time. When I say room, it is like the whole dining room table. I need the space to pick beads, buttons, lace, oh my it is endless. There is so much to choose from,  but these are big decisions. Orange lace, blue buttons, the bird or the turtle, how will I know.

That’s just it, with any crazy quilt I have made I find it hard to know when it is really done. There is always room for one more bead or flower. My puppy sits under the table waiting for me to move, perhaps towards the back door with my shoes on for his daily walk. Yes of course, we will go, I could use the break from all the choices to be made. And I may get some inspiration for another quilt, oh of course there is always another quilt. I love to quilt. 

This four seasons quilt is ready to be quilted. I’m ready for it to be done, my Sunbonnet Sue quilt needs to be completed and many more. I can only say follow my blog, check me out on Facebook  to see a few little snapshots until the big reveal.

Marathon quilting

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I am a crazy quilter, I mean crazy as in get it done. It has been a very busy time these past few weeks. I have been completing ufo’s like there is no end. Then there is the new puppy, when was the last time you trained a puppy.

Because winter decided not to change to Spring until you know when, it was always so cold to put the puppy out side to do his thing. Thank goodness for puppy training pads, but this guy is growing and goes a lot. Finally he goes outside, he is not only cute, he is potty trained.

So while all of this has been going on, and I have been working on a few books and quilting I have also been working on some quilt projects for competition. I love a good challenge.

That is until I almost forgot one, there I was quilting away using a quilt hoop, I don’t like hoops but this was going well. I sat the hoop down to search for more thread when I discovered paperwork for a quilt challenge that I had not even started.  So the marathon quilting was off and running. Now my next few days were booked solid and not a moment to spare. I ran off to visit a friend, I let her know what I was doing, admitted that I must be crazy, but alas for the next four days stitched, cut, sewed and stitched some more. This was not an easy challenge but I am happy and relieved to say it is complete.

By the way it went out UPS this morning, on its way to North Carolina. The work on my book continues and the next quilt challenge isn’t due for a few weeks. And yes I will get it done, sooner rather than later.

Let the creativity in, trying on the new.

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I am a writer, I am a quilter, crafter, sewer, mom, grandma, a wife and so much more. Now I’m adding artist to my status and costumer. I know what you’re thinking, how can I do anymore. But my eyes are always open to new challenges.
As a writer, I’ve faced the challenges of finding illustrations for my picture books, let me tell you its not easy. What I want seems so simple, yet so far out of reach. But its a new opportunity for me that I will give it my best shot.
The ideas for quilts and dolls are usually in my head, easily transferred to the fabric. What makes drawing with pencil or paint so difficult, I don’t know.
I’m doing the “Sketch daily” challenge, which for the first one is contrast. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not great, but follow me to the end, perhaps I’ll be super good. If nothing else, I had fun trying.image

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Sunday Morning Sunshine

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Ever have one of those mornings when you just want to lay around and soak up the sun coming in the window across the bed. You lie there with the dog, snuggling next to you. Actually he’s taken up most of the bed, he slept so close at your side all night, that your body aches. Yep, happens all the time. My bed could be as big as the ocean and he would still be at my side. All his life he has been in our bed, he believes we are in his bed, but whatever. He has to be against me. I’d be curious to know what he does when I’m not in the bed, I work nights too.
So then I move to the sun coming in the picture window in the diningroom, my plants are cast in the sunlight, its warmth on my back. The calendar says I have places to be today, my flock says in their best attempt, “stay home.” I hear them saying “do it another day,” but alas I move to the kitchen for a must needed second cup of coffee, and a splash of water in my face. Its sure to be another busy week, pumpkins to carve, stories to write, finish the doll, see the grandchildren, and of course there is always work, that dreaded four letter word, but go we must.
The sun is so inviting on this beautiful Sunday morning, Picture Book month is starting in a few days, I’ll need my strength for that too.
I wish for you all to enjoy your day, take in the sun as much as you can, meanwhile I will journey on.

The comforts of home

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Its hard to believe we are already half way  through October.  I see pumpkins on porches, witches in trees and some dogs with sweaters.  My dogs aren’t fans of sweaters, as for me I love sweaters, but someone I live with likes to keep the house a bit to warm. I do fine in a t-shirt most of the winter,  until it gets really cold. What I love this time of year  is the natural comforts, flannel pajamas, warm kitties and dogs who love to cuddle.

My dogs and cats are big cuddle pets, my birds are chirping, what a life.  I brought all the houseplants in from outside, a few at a time. I also trimmed and repotted several of them, they were rehomed to new places to live so others could enjoy.  One of those I brought in is my Christmas cactus, it loved it outdoors so much that it has already started to form buds. I love to see the plants in bloom, even those which don’t bloom are looking good.  When the doldrums of winter set in, my plants provide much needed color.

And then there is the quilts. I always have at least five quilts in progress, some being hand-quilted, others on the machine.  And they give tons of color and when finished provide lots of comfort to a long winters night.

Or when simply spending the day on the couch with the dogs, gotta love those dogs. They go well with a pot of hot soup and a good book after the meal. While not looking forward to the cold and snow I do have plenty to keep me busy and warm all winter long.

Thorny, you were a special friend

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My Indian ringneck bird Thorny went off to bird heaven yesterday.  She was by far one of the sweetest birds, she got so excited to see us whenever we walked in the room. Her little chirp as she expressed how happy she was. She never complained, even when I tried new foods because they were good for her.

If she didn’t like them she just fired them out of her dish, she loved being talked to, we sang to her and she would coo ever so softly. Her bright yellow color was a ray of sunshine every day. After having this bird or a pet in general there is always a feeling of sadness not only because they are gone but so is the voice. All of my pets are loved and give so much love, that the empty cage is a gentle reminder of how precious life is.

I like the motto of living every day to the fullest, because you never know what tomorrow will bring. My pets know this about me, they surround me daily with barks, chirps and meows and their daily chatter. Its reminiscent of growing up in a large family, it was never quiet then either.  I have to think of my other birds and pets who were companions to the one who died.  There is definitely a sadness among my birds that I notice, its hard to wrap my head around that one, it can’t be explained in pet terms.  But we go on, more love, more chatter and think happy thoughts.

Thorny you will be missed,  shine on up in bird heaven, until we meet again.