red flannel pantry

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Archive for the tag “needlepoint keychain”

needlepoint gifts

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My daughters and I have been needlepointing a lot lately. They’ve been working on small-scale projects–they are easy to tote and stitch when there’s a free moment. D#1 surprised me with this totally cool needlepointed iPhone 4 case. What a great idea–I love her design! She bought the case from Purl Soho. They come in white, pink, orange and blue. If you would like to see some other ways to finish these cases in needlepoint and cross-stitch, check out this post from Purl Soho.

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She also finally finished this keychain, which was meant to be a birthday gift back in March. D#1 is a perfectionist–when she doesn’t like a design or color choices, she will rip everything out and start over. I don’t have that same drive.

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D#2 decided she wanted to make keychains for a couple of international guests visiting friends of ours this summer.

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For Ursula from the UK who likes pastel colors, we designed her name in a scripty font in melon with a variegated turquoise background. She was especially pleased by the addition of the St. Christopher’s medal, since Christopher is her father’s name.

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For Maia from France, we knew exactly what to do: a chevron background using a muted palette of gray and light blue with her name in dark blue. Based on the advice from an expert at our favorite needlepoint shop, D#2 added a sparkly thread to the dark blue, so her name has just a bit of bling. We really like the effect and plan to use this technique again in the future.

kudus and kudos

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Daughter #2 leaves early tomorrow morning with fellow St. Louis Zoo interns for Costa Rica, so we have spent the past few days getting her ready for departure. D#2 decided that she’d like to bring along some needlepoint to do, so we designed a couple of keychains as thank-yous for Eve and Laura, the patient Zoo educators who will be accompanying this posse. She plans to work on them during layovers and downtime. We incorporated the St. Louis Zoo’s logo, a stylized image of the male lesser kudu (a shy east African antelope) and the educators’ first initials. I am grateful to these wonderful professionals who are chaperoning this group of teenagers/young adults and enthusiastically sharing their knowledge and love of the environment, nature and animals.

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Although preoccupied with D#2’s travel preparations (and the associated worry), I did manage to get a couple of quilts mailed off to the quilter. Boy, did that feel good!

the final 16th

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The birthday outlier among Daughter #2’s friends is turning 16 today–she is the last one in the group to join the legal driving set. Inspired by the gorgeous mountain sunsets where she now lives in Colorado, D#2 and I chose a simple design for her keychain that suggests her new home.

prek soccer

Happy 16th Birthday, Nicole!

turtles, art and friendship

toddler EJK with turtleSince he was a little boy, my husband has been fascinated by turtles.

IK & AK with turtle (2)

Sitting on a brick inside the turtle pool is one of several Missouri three-toed box turtles we have rescued from the highway over the years. We always release them to a nearby creek.

He passed this love of reptiles and amphibians on to our children.

APK & artist Karen Bell 5.97

When Son #1 was 7, he met artist Karen Bell at an art fair. Karen is a sculptor and former art educator who creates sculptures of bats, turtles, frogs, toads, lizards, armadillos and insects in their habitats in glorious detail. She was kind and spoke to Son #1 at length. Son #1 was fascinated by her and her work and was determined to buy a sculpture.

APK with Karen Bell lizard he bought 5.97

After a year of saving his money, he did.

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So did we.

APK with Maryville art

Son #1 is an artsy guy, a gift he inherited from his grandfather. Karen was inspirational too. See the turtle on the wall in the background?

metalwork turtle by APK

Note the influence.

Fast forward 15+ years.

Son #1 is now a young man, studying art in college. We visit with Karen every time she is in town.

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For my husband’s 50th birthday, I commissioned Karen to create a Missouri three-toed box turtle, like the ones his family had when he was a boy. He is a stunner.

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And Karen gave me this piece after I admired it and told her how our beloved dog, Carl, who died last year, used to eat cicadas on his summer walks.

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As a small thank you, I made this keychain for Karen.

You can read about Karen in Sunshine Artist. She talks about her work and her evolution as an artist–and she even tells the story of meeting Son #1.

It is remarkable how seemingly small moments can have a huge impact on one’s life. Our family’s meeting Karen was a small moment that led to a marvelous friendship.

16th birthdays and safe journeys

This week the state of Missouri has issued driver’s licenses to two more 16 year olds we know and love, so Daughter #2 and I designed and made them keychains. We are in full production mode these days.

We added the St. Christopher medals for a little extra spiritual insurance. St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers, is rather versatile: he is also the patron saint of gardeners, sailors and athletes–my kind of saint. He is said to have unknowingly carried the Christ child across a dangerous raging river. That’s why the image on St. Christopher medals is typically St. Christopher, staff in hand, wading through water while hoisting the Christ child above his shoulder. I grew up Catholic, and one of my earliest memories is sitting in the backseat of my mother’s station wagon watching the St. Christopher medals dangle from rusty safety pins attached to the car visor. Somehow we were kept safe despite the lack of airbags and seatbelts. I figure that adding this talisman for a safe life’s journey can’t hurt.

And since they didn’t have personalized pillowcases yet, Daughter #2 and I picked out fabric and colors that we thought reflect them and stitched up a couple.

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