Thank You Avital, Joanie, Chris and TeriC

Fall leaves on canvas; vintage brass flower loom inspired by Terneriffe; Hexie Pin Cushion; Pitt pens are perfect for gourd painting!

Welcome! In this post I am sharing more lovely and talented women who have been part of my crafty family since the very beginning of Gingerbread Snowflakes. I am sure by now, none of them are unknown to you - they appear frequently in this space. But since they have, like everyone mentioned here in the past week or so, inspired and informed my crafty adventures this past year, they deserve to be embarrassed just like everybody else!!!

As you will soon see, each of these treasured, long time friends have, during the past year, broadened my knowledge and led me in new directions OR helped me do a better job of negotiating the direction I was already on and messing up: Avital Pinnick at This and That; Joanie Gorman at Nini Makes; Chris Miser at Parabolic Muse; and Teri Casper at Teri's Painted Daisies.

Shadows in Piazza, Florence

Image used with permission from Avital Pinnick.

I love this image! It is not unusual to see a similar kind of image - but usually the subjects are camels! And walking is a straight line across desert dunes. My friend Avital captured this image, a shadowy witness to fleeting moments in a busy Florence piazza, while standing at the top of Giotto campanile near the Florence Duomo.

Avital spent 10 days exploring Italy this past summer - with her husband and son and her camera! She spent most of her time with - her camera!!! I understand she took so many images that it took her nearly a year to edit them all and post them here on Flickr for all of us to enjoy!

I know everyone is very busy these days, but carve out some time and visit Avital's Italy set on Flickr. And if you can't get enough - see the full set here! Most of us likely will never have the opportunity to visit Italy - Florence, Venice, Murano Â…..but thanks to Avital's dedicated and persistent efforts in the field and in the "digital darkroom" we can all come away from enjoying the collection feeling as though we have been to Italy.

Avital has always been incredibly generous with me whenever I have turned to her for help - be that how to make Challah or how to get started making Tenerife Lace.

(After my little Tenerife misadventure yesterday - I will soon be returning for more help as my first attempt does not look anything like hers - see her's here!)) What I appreciate so very, very much is knowing that when her life settles a bit, she will be there to help and one day soon - I WILL be able to do this!!!

This garter rib scarf pattern - is fabulous! Not only is it is lots of fun to knit - it does NOT need blocking. The pattern itself prevents any curling at the edges. And it is beautiful - especially if knit is a variegated yarn! Leave it to Avital to find it and share!

You will find Avital here on her blog "This and That" where she shares her stunning photography, crafts, her life in Israel, documents trips to bakeries, festivals and museums, and the occasional recipe! Spend some time exploring her Flickr Sets - Italy is not the only country she has visited and photographed - you will find my absolute favorite shot of Stone Henge in her England 2012 Set.

Thank you Avital! From day one I have admired your photographic eye and striking imagery and appreciated and enjoyed your enthusiasm for the craft. I love your blog - I never know what you will share next but I am absolutely certain I am going to be introduced to something new, see something remarkable or beautiful, or learn a new skill! And - BTW -  thank you for the recipe for Moroccan Fava Beans! We are having them for dinner!!!

Sweet winter birds embroidery

Actually, Joanie did not design this adorable pattern - her daughter Gracie is the artist! If you love it as much as I do, pop over here and order a copy. 

My plan for this sweet little embroidery is to frame it in a wood embroidery hoop - if I can ever find one that is 5" in diameter! Boy o boy are they hard to find.

Joanie introduced me to hexes! First introduction was a picture of a muslin heart with several hexes stitched together in the center. Which was followed shortly there after by a second introduction - that very heart showing up on my doorstep! And on top of all that - she taught me how to make them! Like almost everyone who encounters a hexie and then stitches a few - it is love at first sight and love forever after!

Joanie's heart is the inspiration behind the little pink pin cushion in the collage I created for Christmas in July last summer. Actually, my first intention was to simply stitch a few hexes onto a larger hex and stuff it! But as it turned out - that simple little hexie pin cushion got all caught up in my dabbler instincts and before it knew what hit it - it was embellished with embroidery, crochet and Kanzashi!

You can find Joanie here on her blog "Nini Makes". Many of her tutorials can be found here and the sweet treasures made using her tutorials here in her Flickr Group. Her pattern shop, Stitch Village, is small for the time being as she has found it necessary to turn her attention to other things. The Forger Bag is wonderful - I love the design so much and carry it everywhere with me! (Joanie made it with a mesh bottom for "gathering" but I used a bit of canvas.) And the Stitch Village Collection includes the pattern for Gracie Doll and Mushroom Storage Canisters - any one who has followed me for awhile knows I love mine!

Joanie, thank you! Like all the women featured today, your lovely and supportive comments during my very early blogging days were what kept me going! I still remember the day in late December, following my first Christmas on line, when I announced that I was enjoying blogging so much I had decided to make Gingerbread Snowflakes a "year-round" blog instead of the holiday blog it was intended to be. You were among some of the first, along with Teri and Chris, to welcome me. And now 5 years later, even though your own life has been completely rearranged, you have continued to keep in touch.

Saori (Zen Weaving) Bookmarks

I am not by nature a "joiner"! And as some of you have no doubt noticed, I don't join in swaps, and craft-alongs very often. But this past year, I joined Chris in her Bookmark Swap. I am not an artist and I rarely if ever make collages so after agreeing to participate, I began thinking I had lost my mind!

But, fortunately for me - I suddenly realized that I didn't need to make art or create a collage - I could simply do what ever it is I do! SoÂ… I pulled out my cardboard looms and yarn stash and set about weaving Saori style bookmarks! (Tutorial here.) It is funny, isn't it how often we need to remind ourselves to forget what others are doing and simply return to our own roots. Chris and I take turns reminding each other of that frequently!

You can find Chris blogging here on Parabolic Muse. She is wonderfully eclectic and insatiably curious so you never know what you will find her doing - but always check out her side bar where she posts buttons and notices of what she is doing now or what she will be doing soon!

In addition to TeriC (you will meet her in a minute) I rely on Chris whenever I have questions about anything related to art or artists materials and tools. The little canvasses and fall leaves in the collage are a case in point. I wrote Chris with my concerns about how well the leaves would adhere to the canvas squares I had purchased for mounting. And I learned about gesso! She even sent a picture of her favorite brand so I would know what to look for! Because - seriously - as surprising as it may seem - I did not know anything at all about gesso! The project is completed now - will be sharing in the fall!

Chris, thank you! You are well known for being one of the most generous and supportive bloggers on line. Sometimes perhaps too generous and supportive because your own need to create sometimes gets put on the back burner. Thanks to your encouragement and kindness, that dark little creature that tries to rear it's insecure little head and convince me that I don't belong here, gets a regular thrashing and banished  back to it's dark cupboard!!

Painting of the Catalina Mountains, AZ by Teri Casper

Water color painting by Teri Casper - Teri's Painted Daisies

Beautiful isn't it? It is mine!

A lovely and unexpected gift from my friend TeriC - because - well we ARE friends, and because I have always loved her landscapes, and because this is a little water color painting of my beloved Catalina Mountains which dominate the eastern skyline of Tuscon, AZ.

Like Chris, Teri is always ready to help me learn about artisit's paints, pencils, brushes and paper! She has joined me at play with dried gourds and introduced me to Pitt Artist Pens by Fiber Castell. (See them in the collage at the top of the page.) They are a fade-resistant, pigmented drawing ink "pen/brush" that is waterproof, acid-free and permanent. And they are great for creating colorful designs on gourds - especially coloring in doodle designs on gourds AND paper! Check out Teri's Flickr gallery of whimsical "Zentangle inspired" doodles and sketches - here. I love her use of color in her doodles. I think you will too! (The gecko is hands down my favorite.)

You can find Teri blogging every day here at Teri's Painted Daisies, and occasionally on her other blog - My Mandalas Blog. Visit her Flickr sets here and perhaps some of your favorites are available on mugs, coasters, stickers and cards - even totes and stamps in her Zazzle Store. (While preparing this post, I just discovered the gecko is available on a mug!!! GOT to have one!!)

Teri, thank you! I still remember the day Diane sent me out into the blogisphere looking for blogs I might like to add to my blog roll. I have no idea how I found you but the minute I did - you were added! You had posted a landscape that day, my friend! I love your landscapes! And I love that we are friends - despite the fact that I play with fiber instead of paint!

Dearest Pam; This made me

Dearest Pam;

This made me cry, no kiddin.

Do you know how much I LOVED your bookmarks? I wanted to keep them all!

I so loved it when you swapped ATCs with me. Yours has its own full-page display in my ATC notebook, which I should feature on my site again very soon.

I have been late to this post, but I have to agree with you that things can get a little overwhelming and crowd out things like, doing our own crafting, or reading our favorite blogs. But it's all life! Life, it seems, is messy. Especially without a house elf!

I opened this to read an hour and a half ago. I got interrupted four times. It's so difficult when one has to work at an office. But it has been SO much worth the wait. I also love Teri's work and the great support of kind people like those women you have shared with us here.

Thank you, my friend!

xoxoxoxxx infinity

Pam I remember your

Pam I remember your beginnings so well and was so excited when you decided to blog long-term. You offer so much through your blog and as a friend to so many and I feel honoured to be included here. I wish I could visit more often but know you understand my absence. I hope I can sit down and visit each and every one of the amazing people you've highlighted here. Thanks for being so generous with you time and love.

Joanie, every opportunity to

Joanie, every opportunity to enjoy your company - no matter how far apart  - is a treasure!  Actually, most of us are finding that we are not able to keep up with each other to the same degree as we did five to seven years ago.  And spending time with the children is after all what is most important.  They are so lucky to have you as their mother.

PS I just yesterday finally found, after looking since February, the 5 inch diameter  "embroidery hoop frame" for Gracie's sweet tweets!


Hi Pam so many methodes that

Hi Pam so many methodes that isnpiring you and me.
it's overwelming, but i still love it.
Yeah indeade you're a painter with embroidery yarn.;-D
It's now summer time, but it's still like autumn. but dry without sunshine.
Not to bad.
still knitting gnoms hats and socks.LOL
thank you for the new links and inspiration.
Have a good fun day my friend.X)'s

Jet!  Thank you for being

Jet!  Thank you for being such a dedicated commentor and friend and teacher.  In today's post  you will be playing a staring role along with several others who have added so much to my on line experience but who do not blog.

You are such a sweetie for

You are such a sweetie for including me in your wonderful list of 'thank you friends'. I am so happy you found me that day and that we now call each other friends. You have always been there when I needed an uplifting word and always seemed to know just when I did.
Everytime I paiint a landscape I think of you because of your encouragment and always insisting that I do more. It was my personal honor and pleasure to paint and send you this painting.
Hugs to my dear friend. Big hugs!

Teri, if what you say is true

Teri, if what you say is true and you think of me when you paint a landscape, I hope that thinking of me when you are NOT painting a landscape will inspire you to  paint many more! xox


Big smile here

Big smile here