Sunday, March 01, 2015

Easter is just around the corner- Time for a giveaway

Your probably thinking wow, its only March!! I know, it feels a bit like Costco huh, with their Christmas decorations up in July. Well its all about timing, so to make sure you have time to display it I am giving you only a week to sign up and then on March 8th, the winner will be selected and my little Bunny block will be hopping its way to a new home!

I designed this fun 12"x12" Bunny Block but I haven't published yet, so you will  be the first to own it. I have it all ready to go, its sewn, has some cute wooden fabric covered buttons too. Maybe its ready to go to your house! Check out my FB page Desiree's Designs Studios and sign up! You only have a week to sign up this time. Lets make sure you get this cute Easter Block in time to hang it up before Easter!  Good Luck!

To be first to receive info on future giveaways make sure you sign up for my Newsletters at 

An assortment of these handmade, fabric covered wooden buttons are new and I will be adding them to my website this week but they are in very limited amounts.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Spring is in the air!

I love this time of year where we live it is absolutely gorgeous. I know the heat will be here soon but for now I can't get enough sun. I have my garden planted, lawns are greening up and there is a newness about everything. I just wrapped up my latest give away, I hope you entered! It was so much fun I will be doing one each month so check back often. The warm weather inspired my painting which feels like spring to me. I painted, sewed and made this cute bookmark for Cathi Early who won my first give-away! Congrats Cathi!

Today I took some time to just enjoy the weather and the yard. The trees budding up and the daffodils blooming really inspire me! 

 Tiny reminders that spring is here for us, but sadly the east coast is still under tons if snow if freezing conditions. Jennifer and I are praying for all of you in this cold weather. We often talk about how hard it must be to be handicapped in those conditions, I can't imagine having to try and clear the walkway of snow to get Jennifer's wheelchair out to the car, oh and then clear the driveway etc. I am always so thankful I don't have to deal with that and I admire those who do it everyday! So to spread some sunshine here is another tiny reminder that spring is approaching! Hang in there!
 Randy disturbed a nest of baby cotton tails while working in the yard and they scattered! I caught one.
I think I might have to paint this!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Stew of Self Doubt

I don't know why it is that no matter how much my brain tries to convince my heart I still deal with self doubt. Obviously, the more confident I feel in an area the less the self doubt is but, it still seems to creep up and catch me, when I am must vulnerable, like yesterday.

The what if's, the why's, the how comes, mixed with the tears, all start to stir into a giant pot of self doubt stew. Then to make things worse, everything else that comes along on during that time is added to the mixture like a bad seasoning, only to make it even harder to swallow.  Instead of throwing out the whole batch, like I should, I decide to just let it simmer.

It continues to stink up my whole day as it's foul odor permeates everything else that seems to come along.  It almost causes all the good things that are happening to melt away as it demands its way and tears away my confidence.  It happens to all of us, in many areas of our lives. This pot of self doubt will just continue to cook down into just a rue of fear, and we all know fear does.

Its what happens next that makes the difference. Its what I do with that fear and self doubt that will either make me breakthrough it or be overcome by it. Will I figure out a solution or curl up in defeat in the corner. It is my choice, it is your choice today.

 Today, I am throwing out that stew of self doubt,  and I have decided to bake some cookies instead!! Won't you join me?

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Creating Magic

I have been busy working in the studio, writing articles for a magazine and playing with textures. I love having the time to explore new possibilities. I have been exploring some uses with colored pencils on fabrics for some articles and a TV appearance!! Yes, you heard it right, I am going to be flying out next month for a taping, I will share more as it gets closer.

But for now its all about creating my magic for you and for my Valentines Day drawing I am having. I hope you have signed up, I can't wait to see who will get my hand made, painted, colored, quilted, sewn bookmark!

I will also be signing it and maybe sending you other goodies! It is my Valentines gift to you!!

Yesterday I treated enjoyed a day at the spa with my daughter, using a gift certificate my family gave me last Mother's Day! It was so nice to just have a day to relax and regroup. I work so much by myself that it is so much fun to visit with other women and especially my daughters who are usually very busy with their own families now. It is really amazing how energizing it is to just take a day and relax. By taking care of me I am better able to take care of those around me so it is a win win! Feeling special today!

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

A Giveaway just in time for Valentines Day! Will you be my Valentine?

I love Valentines day, a day to remind everyone how much I appreciate and love them, friends, family everyone is included.

While I was writing my Newsletter this month I thought it would be nice to send one of you a special Valentines Gift! To tell you how much I appreciate you too! You won't get it on Valentines Day, but I will announce the winner that day. I am making a bookmark just for you, painting, sewing, stitching something special to give away. It will be a one of a kind and I want you to have it, just follow the link to my Facebook page where you can also sign up to win. I hope you will Like my page too!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Check out the WILD THINGS I have been working on!

With the holidays and the quilt show time has managed to get away from me! I had an amazing time getting to meet lots of new people at Road 2 California quilt show in Ontario last week! I love getting to see smiling faces and put faces to names finally.  I worked in Pagen's booth, the Quilter's Cocoon, they are in Riverside and it is a wonderful store! If you haven't been there you should definitely look it up and make a trip if you are close enough.
Our booth, you can see some of my quilts and patterns on the left side of the photo.
I was so excited to debut my first embroidery CD called, Stitchin a Safari, featuring my animals from my Wild Things fabric line. I had several of them stitched out and made a quilt to show off the embroidery! Everyone loved them and we sold out, but I have more and now have them on my website.

The fabric line and my Safari Placemats also made the front cover of Annie's Catalog!

And I finished my newest Quilt pattern exclusively for Annie's! Its called "On Safari"

So as you can see, its been a wild month!!! 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Anticipation of Intention

The Christmas decorations are all put away, except for that occasional straggler. The new gifts and toys are already being used and have found their place on the shelf. The stores are already moving into Valentines Day and we are still coming out of the whirlwind of the holidays and feeling a bit tired. But there is something in the air, the anticipation of the New Year, the hope in new things. I like the excitement and possibilities of what this year will bring. New challenges, new projects, new ideas, new friends and new opportunities because of new intentions.

I want you to stop and take a few minutes to write yourself a little note with your top 5 intentions for 2015. Maybe its a trip you hope to make, a challenge you are going to take on, a dream you will fulfill, a old friend you will travel to visit, a show you want to enter, whatever you can think of or dream of doing, put it on your list. Now take your list and put it in an envelope and write "Open Immediately" and if you still are packing away the last of your Christmas stuff, stick it in the box. I like to put my envelope in with the saved Christmas cards and Christmas card list for next year. Now, this coming holiday season at the end of the 2015, when you open up your boxes of decorations you will see your list of intentions. As you open it up and read the list that you probably forgot you wrote,  you can see how many of your listed intentions actually happened just because you put them down on paper! Its fun and it really is amazing what happens. 

So stop right where you are as you are reading this.....

Grab a piece of paper and an envelope.....

Write your top 5 intentions....

Stash it in with your Christmas stuff and ........

Start your amazing year full of anticipation of great things! 

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Your word for the Year

I don't really do resolutions, for me it is yet a another list I have yet to complete set up with lofty hopes of losing weight or exercising more, all good thoughts but within a few weeks I am over it. I find I am doing those things anyway and resolutions made me a bit crazy. A checklist I looked at every day that just reminded me how I was failing!

I have been choosing a word for the year,a word that will encompass what I want that year to hold and a word that will apply to all areas of my like. I begin thinking about my word early in the prior year, taking notes when something sounds right or feel right. I chose several and then weed them down until one stands out.

Once my word is chosen I write it, paint it or somehow make it special and artistically interesting and then hang it in my studio. It will hang all year, reminding me of the power in just a word, the power of applying you word and the beauty of the word as it applies to all the areas in my life.

It's a way to grow and push yourself to something higher. I hope you give it a try!

So my word for 2015 is BREAKTHROUGH! I want to breakthrough old mind sets, limitations put on me by others and myself, breakthrough the fears of the unknown, fears of failing,breakthrough also means breaking through to something new and exciting. Break through a rut into an area where the skies the limit. Breakthrough can be on a personal level, business level, spiritual level. Break through and challenge myself to break through my comfort areas into something unknown! I'm excited!

I want you to be excited too! My business coach and mentor, Christine Kane, has put together a free worksheet and helps you find your word for the year. Grab some friends and do the work together! It could change you life. Here is the affiliate link, enjoy! Please let me know what your word for the year is and what it means to you!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Blessings!

It is almost Christmas Eve and I have a few minutes of quiet, no one here, baking done, gifts wrapped and delivered.

I am thinking about this year and how thankful I am that my mom is here, celebrating with us!
Her room is all set up and Christmasy

How good it feels to come home and smell gingerbread and peanut brittle in the air, and light a fire and feel the warmth of family near by.

How blessed I am to have stockings to fill and loved ones to bake for.

 I am thinking of my special friends that are dealing with so much, saying special prayers for them this holiday season.

Its so important to take the time to really wrap yourself in gratitude, finding the things that are good and rejoice in those. I am thankful for my Savior who loved me enough to be born this day.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 15, 2014

All good things must come to an end, kinda

We spent last night with our Bocce Ball group, a wild group of friends that agreed to get together every month in 2014 and play Bocce Ball.

 I organized this to make sure we made time to see each other since everyone is so busy these days. Time has a tendency of slipping away and before you know it you haven't seen your friends in months.

The competition part added incentive every month to show up, that helped since one couple had to drive an hour each way! It was a commitment that proved to be challenging and rewarding at the same time.

Randy and I- team Holy Rollers
Last night we crowned the winners, celebrated the group and Christmas all together, the way we started the year. It was all about the fun we all have together, the quirks, the oddities, the uniqueness that each one of these people brought into our lives this year. The teams were as follows, We're the Millers, Chris and Linda. Chris gave us a Chris crazy close up every month and Linda always shocked us with her amazingly accurate throwing!

There was Dawn and Mike, The Bocce Bums and eventual winners for the year! 
They won for best Team Uniforms!
Then there was Rudy and Marta, The Ball Bangers, they always added a lot of fun to the group. Rudy was the official, unofficial measurer. Unless some of the other guys with tape measures got involved!  Marta took our amazing group photo, our official photographer.

And then, of course, there was always Jen and Chloe on the sidelines. Always cheering us on!

Last night saw the end of our 2014 tournament. We laughed and celebrated then walked around the lighted area in downtown, we listened to kids singing Christmas Carols and watched people ice skating on man made ice rinks and it was like a real Charlie Brown Christmas!

Thanks everyone for a wonderful year together!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Funky Flowers

I love just playing with art, starting with just a black canvas and letting magic happen. No preplanned idea, no layout just splash on the paint and let the intuitive part of art happen. Today with a friend, some acrylics, canvases, brushes and music playing we just let it happen.

 Let the fun begin, no pressure to preform, nothing forced, just a relaxing time of chatting and painting. We all need that right? Especially during the stress of the holidays. Give yourself an early gift, take a day and play.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Are you Shiny or Satin?

Its this time of the year that brings out the best and worst in people. For me, I love to get lost in the romance of it all, the "It's a Wonderful Life" movies and Christmas carols.
The generosity that people have towards one another that often only happen during this time of the year.

As I decorated the tree, or as I watched my grandkids decorate the tree this year, I was thinking how people, like ornaments, are either satin or shiny. They are either absorbers of light or reflectors the light!

I think both are wonderfully important!

 So Satins are lovers and warm, they absorb the light and can be jolly and personable. They are not sharp or hard but instead soft and smooth. They aren't easily bothered and often glean from the energy of others. They do not produce a bright light but are happy to stay in the background enjoying the light from the shiny reflectors.

  The Shiny or Reflectors are bright, colorful souls with lots to share. There beauty is often a reflection of those around them. They are the life of the party and love to be twinkling and bright as they are reflective of the beauty that surrounds them. They sometimes can be sharp and too strong but they are always the crowd standouts.

 So which are you, are you a Satin or a Shiny, both are important, both bring their own beauty to the tree!

Monday, November 24, 2014

A time of Thanksgiving….. and random acts of kindness.

Its that time of the year to count our blessings and be in that spirit of gratitude and Thanksgiving. A time to surround ourselves with family and loved ones but some people are struggling to do that. Some are dealing with broken families and illness. Some are far away from their loved ones and some are all alone. Some don't have a table to set or a turkey to cook. So this year, I pray, we each do something small to make a difference. To have the spirit that we will be kinder to those around us. That we will think before we speak the next time we meet someone in a bad mood or who is not filled with that wonderful spirit of Thanksgiving. That we will remember, that for some, the holidays are just reminder that this year it will not be happening for them.  I pray that we will be able to share with someone who may be hurting, to befriend someone alone, to create a place at the table for someone who has no where to go. Some simple, random act of kindness goes so far!

I want to share with you some thing that happened to us, in a very dark year. I am reminded of this gift each time I begin to take out my Christmas decorations. I usually always do this the weekend after Thanksgiving,but this year I wanted to decorate early. As I was taking out my decorations I came across the small little tree that is all decorated and stands about 2' tall. On it hangs an angel, a dove, a praying mantis, and little bear ornament that says "Jennifer". It is strung with lights and other small ornaments and the base has a big red bow that ties up the burlap that is filled with plastic cherries. Every year it comes out to find its rightful place in Jennifer's room.

You see, back in 2000, Jennifer, our 24 year old daughter lay in a hospital bed, fighting for her life after being hit by a drunk driver in July of that year. As Thanksgiving approached I had never dreamed that we wouldn't all have been home, well and healthy, celebrating together. I never planned to spend a holiday in a hospital. I remember thinking that it just wasn't fair that everyone was celebrating when we were so devastated. We received a gift around that time, a crocheted blanket that had a hospital bracelet through it with Jennifer's name on it. It sat at the foot of her bed, a gift, from a stranger. Someone who crocheted blankets for those in hospitals or rehab facilities who we would never meet but who touched us so deeply. The thought that someone noticed we weren't going to be at our Thanksgiving table that year and sent a gift was beyond kind.  As Christmas approached the feelings are even worse, there are no decorations, no parties. It was my mom who decorated that little tree and sent it to Jennifer in the hospital. A little tree that signified who Jennifer was, a lover of bugs, an angel to us, a lover of Christ and Christmas and all that that means, spiritually and personally. We plugged that tree into an approved extension cord so we could have a little bit of Christmas light during our families darkest time. That was along time ago, it sometimes feels like a lifetime ago. Today things are better, Jennifer lives with us and we celebrate everyday together!! We are happy and joyous in what God has done for her, sparing her life that year.

It was a few people who thought about us, who reached out and touched us that helped us through it. It was the kindness of not only friends and family but of strangers who never met us and still reached out. It was those special people, strangers, friends and family that helped us feel grateful again. My prayer for us this year is that we don't forget, that we don't just get caught up in the busyness. That we remember those around us who are hurting and we reach out, do something unexpected, make a difference even when we can't make it all better. Won't you join us this year. I would love to hear how you make a difference, leave a single sentence about what you do in the comment area and lets all be thankful together.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Winston- The Sunbather

The days are getting dark early now with the nights falling into the 20s.  The sunny days of summer are now being consumed with the foggy blanket that will cover the valley off and on for the next few months.  Warm jackets, lots of layers and morning fires are the only way to get your body moving and the older we get the more fuel it needs! This is true for Winston too. He loves nothing more than starting his day next  to the wall heater, soaking up the warmth before venturing outside. On those special days of crisp, sunny skies you will find him on the patio, sunbathing. Nothing feels better than that sunshine on your back on a cold day!

The Sunbather
8" x 8" Oil on Museum board

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The inspiration of Living Loose!

Many of you know that I have been been busy designing new patterns and fabric getting ready for Houston. I have actually been so busy doing the business of art that I lost the inspired painting and expressing part of art.

The me part of Art.

I am someone who is always is covered in either paint or threads, but creating for me is often pushed off to the side.

Last year I committed to an oil painting workshop with Dreama Tolle Perry. I love her work and wanted to learn oils. I feel like my fine art work is static and wanted to shake things up for myself!

I decided last year when I signed up, that this was just for me, no expectations, no pressure to perform, no deadlines. I didn't sign up with with friends, I wanted to show up alone, with myself.

The lights are casting shadows but here is my first painting.

It turned out to be a wonder adventure, exploring a new medium with strangers and my own inner voice.  It was also just fun to just be a part a group of creative people all learning something new.

Art is a forever journey of practice and application, we never arrive since we are in a constant state of learning.

I had three days of just laughing, listening, painting and fun! I love the things I painted, even being unsure of this new medium. It was interesting trying to get my head around painting almost the opposite way I paint watercolors. I found not having enough paint on my brush was my biggest problem. I was painting with what felt like toothpaste or thick lotion compared to water! I know this will be some time  for my mind to adjust, probably for the next few years or so! LOL

 I also love the people I met, everyone exploring the rich colors and textures. I am so excited to pursue this medium and a looser, more impressionistic approach in my painting. So far I find I am constantly saying "stop adding details!", "Stop futzing", and it feels okay!

dropping in color

 I was raised to think being loose was a bad thing! Here's to letting it all go and taking on a different, looser, mindset! 
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