Happy New Year!

Home now after 3 trips in 3 months!  October, I was in Australia.  Went sailing in November in the British Virgin Islands.  December was spent spending quality holiday time with my Dad and Doris in Missouri.  I am a bit traveled out, I do say!

Example of Digital Quilt drawn in Photoshop Elements

Example of Digital Quilt drawn in Photoshop Elements

In the meantime, the power cord on my Fujitsu tablet PC was detached by accident by a cute little boy named Ethan.  That means for the first time in over 10 years, I am without a tablet.  Do I hear a gasp?  🙂  So now I am on the hunt for a replacement tablet PC, and I need to have my Fujitsu repaired, too.   Promise to write a post about my research for those interested in this subject once I look at all current offerings.

10waystabletOnce my Tablet PC is replaced, I plan to announce another Quilt Whisper design class.  I may even hold a brand new class, too.  Stay tuned as I will announce it here, on FaceBook, and through my mailing list.  If you are not one my mailing list, please write a comment indicating you wish to be added.  I promise to never share your email with anyone AND will not send out junk mail to you.

Here’s to a wonderful and creative 2015!!  Hugs, Carla

Tropical Dreams

Picture this….warm turquoise water, white sand beaches, coral and tropical aquarium underwater views through my snorkeling mask.

Or how about this…. the sails filled with wind on a beam reach as the catamaran sailboat glides effortlessly through the water towards the island shore.

380That will be our reality shortly when we bareboat charter a catamaran in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) again.  Joe, Ethan and I will be flying to St. Thomas, in the US Virgin Islands, then boarding a ferry to the island of Tortola in the BVI.  A cab ride from the ferry dock to the east side of Tortola, and we will board the Lagoon 380 catamaran, which is a double-hulled sailboat (see picture, above).  Here is the layout of the boat, shown right:

Lagoon380saloonAs sailboats go, it is quite spacious, especially when compared to a monohull sailboat.  You have a main salon, consisting of a kitchen, dining table, and navigation station.

lagoon380_2You also have several staterooms, here is a typical view of one, shown below.

I have lost count of how many bareboat charters we have done.  A charter is considered a “bareboat” when you act in the capacity as captain and crew.  In this case, that would be Joe and I.  Ethan will be wearing a special offshore Personal Floatation  Device (PFD) and tether for safety while underway.  You would be surprised how often we get asked about how we keep 3 year old Ethan safe while sailing, especially when we are both busy at the helm and raising sails, anchoring or picking up a mooring ball.

bvibeachThis trip will be our way of introducing Ethan to a more extended sailing.  Previously, he has only experienced day sails on our current sailboat, SV Sea Glass, an O’Day 23.  We will soon be selling our O’Day 23 and  purchasing a much larger sailboat in early 2015, a bluewater cruiser sailboat about 42-49 feet in size.



Marina Cay, BVI

Chartering in the BVI is fun, relaxing, and there is lots to do and see.  You wake up in the morning and decide where you want to sail and do that day. Above is a map of the island group that makes up the BVI.  I plan to do a lot of snorkeling, sailing, beachcombing, and swimming during our trip.   Watch for my trip report when I get back!   Fair Winds, Carla

Tales From The South Pacific, Part 1

Hello from Carla!   I am happy to report that I am back home from my trip and eager to get back to work again!  In case you missed an earlier post, I was taking part in some offshore sail training in French Polynesia and Cook Islands on SV Mahina Tiare III.    Here are some images to share from a variety of cameras:


The sail training included 5 other students as my crew mates- Angela, Amy, Cody, Simon and Shanti.  What a wonderful, fun bunch of people!  They made the experience richer, as they warmly offered encouragement, support, and laughter throughout the training.    So glad to have shared this trip with them all.

IMG_2569_2 Self Portrait with Crew (Amy in pink, parts of Simon and Shanti)

IMG_2553   (photo courtesy of Amanda Swan Neal)

My hair is french braided by Amy, who would kindly fix my hair when asked.   As the trip progressed, my hair became blonder and blonder.  Here I am learning about celestial navigation with the sextant:

IMG_5016 (photo courtesy of Mahina Expeditions)

I went into this adventure with several goals: To learn more about offshore sailing and gain skills not available on my sailboat.  Experience a watch schedule and helm control, and see if I would become seasick. To climb to the top of the mast, and also swim with sharks.  Okay, that last one was thrown in for fun,  but I did actually want to capture a photo or video of a shark.   So, how many items did I check off my list?

Swim with sharks?  CHECK!

Climb to the top of the 65 foot mast?  CHECK!

Did I become seasick?   THANKFULLY, NO!

Learn more about offshore sailing?  CHECK, CHECK!

More stories and pictures to come about my grand adventure.  There is even a quilt tie in- I visited the studio of tifaifai artist, Miri Vidal, who lives on the island of Moorea.     That story is for another day….  Hugs, Carla





Last Minute Gift Ideas For Husbands

In case any DHs (dear husbands) are reading this, and you are just now starting your shopping, chances are very high you are going to be in the dog house.  To avoid that, here are some ideas for you:

Make a booklet of Certificates- Use any paper or cards on hand.  Offer your loved one anything from a massage to dinner out.  Personalize each certificate to suit her personality and taste!

Ideas- This gift certificate is good for:

Dinner and a movie;  shopping spree, a clean kitchen,  Time to craft, paint, knit or whatever they like to do,  etc.  You may also offer up such things as time spent listening, romantic dinner, Breakfast in bed, the sky is the limit!

Gift Cards– most local grocery stores will offer gift cards from a wide variety of places.  From Macy’s to Pottery Barn.  She will think you drove all over town to buy these.  If you are feeling guilty, just up the limit of the cards chosen.  Trust me, she will like this.

Online Class– Buy her an online class in whatever hobby she loves to do.  If she is into machine quilting and quilt design, I have a class starting in January located here.  If she loves to create using beads, metal work or wire, then visit Beaducation.  You can google classes in whatever hobby or art she likes to do.

Wrap an old pair of _______ (boots, jewelry, clothes, etc) with a note saying you will choose  a NEW one together.  Trust me, she would much rather pick it out herself, especially if you are likely to choose jewelry that turns her skin green or clothes 2 sizes too small.

Compose her  a poem.  Make it romantic, make it funny, she will love the idea that you did it.  Even if it is awful, she will appreciate it.  Just don’t mention any places on her body that she is sensitive.

Plant her a tree, bulb or flowers– Most nurseries are empty, even on Christmas Eve, so it will be a quick trip for you.  Stick a bow on it and place under the tree unwrapped.  On Christmas, before the football game, offer to plant it for her.  This gift will remind her of your love over and over.  Little effort and lasting benefits.

Last idea- Chocolate!  You can’t go wrong with chocolate, especially good chocolate.  Later on, when she asks you if she has gained weight,  your answer should be, “Absolutely NOT, dear- you are BEAUTIFUL!”

Merry Christmas!  Carla

Handmade Ornaments

Happy Holidays to you!  Today, I thought I would share my Christmas tree and all the handmade ornaments from past years.  When the kids were little, each year I made them a new Christmas ornament, with their name and date.

Here is my tree.  I have to confess that I still need to add the angel at the top, and ornaments, too.  Plus start wrapping the gifts. Note to self- bring in the ladder!

Here is my favorite ornament, though I did not make it:

   I own a few of these cute sock cows, plus some sock monkeys.

Now for the homemade ornaments:

  This ornament is special as it was made by my crafty grandmother about 30 years ago.

Cookie cutter and painted dough star.

Tin punch ornament using frozen orange juice lid.

Large Jingle Bell- writing using a white paint pen.  Used to have a ribbon bow top, but oh- well.

Beaded Santa.  This was given to me by my MIL.

Ribbon Candy wreath.

  Fabric horse ornament on a dowel.

Potpourri angel with lace and stainless steel pad hair.

  Victorian lace roses.

  Plastic straw ornament.

  Cross-stitch kitty circa 1985 for my daughter Amy.

  Amy made this cute snowman ornament when she was 9 out of painted tin can.

Anyone care to share their homemade or favorite ornaments on their blog, too?  I would love to see yours.  The ornaments above remind me of happy memories of Christmas past.  Hugs, Carla



Happy 4th!

To all the US blog readers, a happy 4th of July to you.  We are spending time with family, barbequing, fireworks, a very traditional 4th for my family.  What are you doing if you celebrate the 4th of July?

Grandson Jack spent the night last night!  Jack is now 3, and fun to be around.  He is very funny, and love all the toys I have saved or bought for the grandkids.

Ok, I will admit that I go a little crazy getting toys for the grandchildren room….  Being the bargain shopper that I am, I would say that most of it I picked up at the thrift store.  My local thrift store has a lot of Little Tikes toys, and other name brand toys.  Of course, you have to wash off the Thrift Store cooties first, before letting the kids play.

Any other bargain toy shoppers out there?

PS: if you are looking for the Class Registration info for the class starting next week, just scroll down.  Thanks!  I look forward to a wonderful class!


Angel Bead Tutorial

Here is an easy tutorial for bead lovers, including new beaders.   I made all three bead angels in less than 10 minutes.  You can find all the supplies at ArtBeads.com:


Bead Caps in either silver, copper or bronze;

2 inch sterling silver head pin;

Sterling Silver curved tube bead with ring;

Angel wings in either silver, copper or brass

6 mm Spacer bead in silver, copper or brass for halo

4mm and 6 mm Swarovski Crystal bicone for head and inside the cone, or;

Variety of 4-6 mm pearls to use for head or at the bottom inside the cone;


Round Nose Pliers; and

Wire Cutter


Instructions:  Let’s begin!  Lay out all your supplies and decide what metals you wish to combine for your angel.  Once you have laid them out, simply place them on the sterling silver head pin in this order:

This illustration also shows you the order of what goes where:

Once you have done this, your next decision has to do with whether you want a long wire or a short one to dangle it from your necklace (or pin, bookmark, etc).  Notice the varying lengths of wire in this photo:

What you plan to do with the angel dictates how long or short you have your wire.

On this bead angel,  I have left the wire long since I haven’t yet decided what I will do with it.  This is a good tip if you are making them as presents.

In bead angel 2, shown below,  I have cut the wire shorter.  This angel, I plan to dangle off of a metal bookmark.  I do have a free Bookmark Tutorial if you want to make your own.

This angel would look great combined with one of my metal bookmarks:

Additionally, you can buy a pre-made bookmark, too, from ArtBeads.com or at your local bead store.

Next picture, notice that Bead Angel 3 has the shortest wire showing of all three angels:

Instead, I used the round nose pliers to make a built-in “eye” or loop ring to attach to the silver curved tube bead ring, shown just above the angel.  If you do not know how to do this, please watch and follow this video on making loops with wire.  Now, to finish this gift, all I have to do is add a necklace and I am done.

I made a necklace for Ramona, my DMIL as a gift.  She called and told me that all her friends at her church loved it.  This necklace makes a wonderful, one-of-a-kind gift for friends and family.


Remember, you can substitute any supplies you have on hand already.  Here is a lovely angel made by Kathy Jasper.  She made this after I posted my illustration above the other day.  Notice how by using different materials, you get a unique look:

If you enjoy and use this tutorial, please drop me a comment or message like Kathy did.   Thanks to Kathy for sharing her angel, btw!

I have a large number of free tutorials besides this one.  My tutorials cover a wide variety of arts and crafts, too.  I have a Tutorial button at the top of this page just above my Blog Header illustration if you wish to visit.  In the meantime, enjoy the Holiday Season!!  Hugs, Carla

Merry Christmas!!

Here is my annual Chicken Christmas Cartoon:

I guess this is why you don’t see many Santa Chickens- How would that belly fit down the chimney??   LOL!!

This year, as a joke gift, I bought my husband many “As Seen On TV” products I thought he would like.  So, he received the Perfect Brownie Pan, the Big Top Cupcake (which is just a huge cupcake shaped cake), the Draft Guard, and the Ov-Glove.  He got a good laugh, then went and made his first Big Top Cupcake cake.

Btw, his “real” gift was a new electric guitar- a Fender American Select Mahogany Stratocaster HSS. For you guitar fans, his other guitar is a Gibson Les Paul.  He loves his new Fender, so I guess I did good.

We are spending Christmas with my oldest son and DDIL, who happens to be the parents of Jack and Kate.   Spending quality time with the kids and grandkids is what I enjoy most about Christmas!

How was your Christmas or Holiday?  Carla

Holiday Month

The holidays are right around the corner.  Is money tight this year due to the economy?  Here are some free tutorials I have that would make wonderful homemade gifts.

Microwave Potato Bag Pattern

If you appreciate using this pattern, which gets hundreds of hits per day, please leave me a thank you note.  Disclaimer: Use at your own risk and please note that I am not liable if you decide to use this free pattern and fail to read all the directions, follow them, and supervise your microwave.



Copper Bookmark Tutorial

For the reader in your life.  This is a beginning metal project using easily attainable materials from the hardware and craft store.

This tutorial does not have any disclaimers- except maybe to not hammer your thumb, or pull a muscle in your elbow.  LOL


Mokuba Freelace Scarf

This is a fun project using a little known product, called mokuba freelace.   If you cannot find it, then substitute 2 sheets of water soluble, your favorite brand.


Last Tutorial I will feature is my Freeform Crochet Tutorial.  This is a tutorial for beginning and advanced crocheters, but only if you purposely crochet in a haphazard manner and let your free spirit come out!

Freeform Crochet Tutorial:

This project is for any friend or relative.  Why not make one for yourself?

Have fun!!  If you try any of these, please let me know.  I offer them free because I love to share, spread good karma, etc.

If you are a quilter, be sure to check out my site, QuiltWhisper.com.   Happy Holidays to all!!  Hugs, Carla

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

With the holidays just around the corner, it is time to turn your minds to finding the perfect “Ugly Christmas Sweater” to wear to your UGLY Christmas Sweater Party!!  Yes, you, too, can own one of these:

There are actually businesses that cater to people holding Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties!    I think that is pretty funny.

If anyone reading this has an ugly holiday sweater picture to send me,  just drop me a comment and I will be in contact.  I can keep your picture anonymous  if it is REALLY ugly, or I can give you credit if you wish.

My recession tip is to find your ugly sweater at the local thrift stores!  I bet you can pick one up for less than $3, too.

Any reason to laugh is good.   Cheers, Carla