Saturday, March 7, 2015

Almost a year.................

It's getting close to 1 year that I lost my both my fathers.  For some reason only known to my heart, I just haven't been able to post any new blog postings as I thought it would push my memories far away of these 2 wonderful men.  I think about where my heart was this time last year and know that even though the heartache has lessened somewhat, the ache of missing both my dads is still here.

It's been a long cold and snowy winter and with spring just around the corner I feel it is time for new beginnings.  Goodbye snow, goodbye cold weather (please soon) and hello a new year full of color and promise.

After being snowbound for the past 2 months I decided the other day that if the sun won't come to me, I will bring it into my own life by playing with color... dyeing up pretties and enjoying the full impact of what color can bring into your life.  Feels soooooooo good!  Enjoying  a little bit of Nicki Sunshine!

Monday, August 11, 2014

It's been a long time ......

It's been a long time since I have Blogged but have come to realize that if I do not get back to Blogging now, I probably won't ever.  The last 8 months have been life changing for me.  I've been very hesitant about sharing my heartbreak but now know that if I don't, part of me will just keep everything  bottled up and I won't be free to continue living life to the fullest and expressing myself in my art and love of Crazy Quilting and dyeing lace.  I've struggled for months on writing on my Blog, it seems every time I started, the tears blinded me from typing.

Last November I was one of those people who believed "not in my family" would we ever hear that dreaded word "Cancer".   It is true, it's been said  "every family will be afflicted sooner or later".  I got a call from my mom telling me that my daddy had Stage 3 Colon Cancer.  My heart was crushed.  In January I flew down to help take care of my daddy and be there for my mom.  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be able to handle what I did , never did I think I would be strong enough to do things I'd never done before - you have to be a quick learner in every aspect of taking care of someone who is terminally ill.  With the help of my sister Anita and BIL John, we made my dad comfortable and during his last days, he knew he was loved.

A bit about my daddy.  My Daddy, Peter Russell Boyce, was a quiet, private man and ever the English gentleman..  He was raised in England and at the age of 16 came to the US.  He served in the USAF for 24 years and another 30+ years he worked for the Civil Service.  He met my mother in 1952 when I was just 2 months old and married her 2 weeks later.   He gave me the lust for travel as we were lucky enough to travel all through the United States and live in places like Lybia and Spain.  Holding his hand and promising him I would never ever forget him, he passed away on March 16th, exactly one month after his 87th Birthday.


At the age of 40 I met my Biological father, Nicholas Philip Chantiles for the first time.  I found out about him when I was 18 and it was then that I found out that my real name was not Barbara Lee , but Nicki Lee ...... hence me going by 2 different names .   Meeting him was so very exciting - not only did I finally look like someone, I found out that I was of Greek heritage.  Nick was "Dad" to me.  He welcomed me into his life with open arms as did my whole Greek family.  For my 50th Birthday he took me to Greece for 2 weeks  to meet all of my Greek relatives, a trip that will forever be in my heart.  I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time getting to know him and learning about a family I had never known.  Sadly, My "Dad" Nick passed away just 2 months after my "Daddy" on May 29th.

Life has a way of taking and giving.  I truly believe that these 2 wonderful men have made me who I am and I'm so very grateful and proud to be called their daughter - Barbara or Nicki .  They are both now at peace and free from any pain and I know in my heart they would want me to go on and enjoy life.  The tears will continue to flow, my heart will slowly mend but the love I have for my Daddy and my Dad will never end.  I promise, I will never forget you and will always love you both ... thank you for being my fathers.  

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Hello strangers!  Can it really be since Memorial Day that I haven't Blogged?  OMGoshness - where have the days/months gone.  Summer came and went and I feel like I missed it all.  I hope you all had a wonderful summer and will come back to visit me now that I'm back to writing and posting pictures.

I can't possibly remember everything that I did over the summer months but will tell you I had a great summer.  Rob and I spent some time on our sailboat and did a bit of kayaking but mostly spent the lazy summer days working around our house.  My gardens took up a lot of time as did my days spent on the deck dying lace.  I decided to take advantage of the beautiful summer weather and dye up a ton of pretties so I wouldn't have to do it inside over the winter.... brrr... it's 12 degrees right now and already I'm a frozen popsicle.

Little by little I hope to post pictures of projects I have worked on as well as the many beautiful CQ blocks and Snowballs I have swapped with fellow Crazy Quilters.  For starters I'll show you a piece I created for my sister Sherri.  Her boss's daughter got married and she commissioned me to make a walhanging for her using her favorite wedding picture.

Using vintage and some new laces, I layered the laces and then embellished them with beads, pretty stitches and some silk ribbon embroidery. 

Congratulations Tarah & Brian

A current project that I am working on is a Crazy Quilt RR with a few ladies from CQI.  We have all exchanged 6 naked "fan" blocks to work on for each other - I just now received my 4th set of fan blocks to play with.  So far these are the 3 blocks for other sets that I have completed.

For Ritva

For Shelly

For Colleen

I am now working on my 4th set and they are for Barbara (I'll post pictures later when done). For now I thought I would share with you the rest of her blocks which have been embellished by 3 other ladies in our group.  Stunning, fabulous, beautiful comes to mind when I look at these.  This has got to be one of my very favorite RR's so far!
For Barbara - Created by Ritva

For Barbara - Created by Colleen
For Barbara - Created by Shelly

Friday, May 24, 2013

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

In honor of all the men and women who have served in our Armed Forces to protect us and give us our freedom - Thank you!

All week long I've been humming Mr. Roger's little song..."it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood..." to all my flowers that have finally decided to come out an play.   With temps in the high 60-70's this past week, I have been treated to so much wonderful eye candy right in my own yard.  The bleeding hearts are swaying the soft blowing wind, the wisteria are hanging long and showing off and the rest of the yard is filling up with lots of color and texture.  Hubby keeps telling me I need to cut back and let some of the gardens grow in as "we aren't getting any younger".  Well I look at it this way, it's like crazy quilting... color, texture, and all the pretty embellishments just make for a beautiful place to play and like CQ... it is addicting!

How about a little walk through my pretties...


Lily Lee and I wish you all a beautiful weekend and a wonderful start to the summer of 2013!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pretties created by my customers

Happy Spring!  Are ya'll as happy as I am that winter is finally over, the snow is GONE and the birds are singing?  To me spring represents fresh new life - beautiful colors, all things pretty and like they say "a breath of fresh air".  I'm so looking forward to spending lots of time on my deck this summer playing with my laces & dyes and stitching like a crazy lady!

Over the years I have enjoyed seeing some beautiful creations that my customers have made using my hand dyed laces.  I thought I would share a few of the beautiful pictures that have been sent to me lately.  If you have bought any of my pretties and used them in a project, I would love it if you would please send me pictures so I can Blog about them   I would love to make this a regular feature here and will be happy to link your Blog or Website too.

Today I would like to show you some gorgeous jewelry that my friend Eleonora makes.  She doesn't have a website or shop but she sells her jewelry at Exhibitions in Italy.  For the past year I have had the pleasure of not only making a new friend but I've been able to be treated to some of the most gorgeous eye candy.  Enjoy!

By the way.... don't you think it's time for a Give-away - maybe one to celebrate spring arriving?  Let me think about it for a few days and see what if I can come up with something unique and pretty so stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Message in a Bottle Contest - 2nd Place!

Here it is a month later and I finally have some time to sit and catch up on all my Blog reading and even post some pictures.  By now you'd think we'd all be enjoying some beautiful spring time weather but Noooooo old man winter still is hanging on - temps today were in the low 40's which wasn't quite warm enough to start melting the snow.

I've been quite busy over the past month.  Rob's mother is now safely moved into an Assisted Living facility and now we are left with trying to clean out the condo and get it ready to sell.  Not too busy though...found time to work on an entry for   Thearica's  "Message in a Bottle" Crazy Quilt Contest.  The perfect theme for me as ya'll know how I love anything that is related to the ocean and the color blue.  I've decided my entry will be called "Mermaid's Fantasy Land"

Each person who entered the Contest purchased a ready made kit which consisted of fabrics, silk ribbon, thread, beads, lace, charms and of course, a little glass bottle with a cork (message in a bottle) ... all of which needed to be incorporated into your choice of design.  If you look closely you will see that I fused some of the fabric and made seaweed and fish out of it.  Also cut apart some of the fabric to use the turquoise sequin trim and lace for some of the ocean and even dyed some of the silk ribbon for some bright colored seaweed.  I estimate that I spent approximately 80-90 hours just in all the hand sewing not to mention putting the block together and the time I spent taking things apart that just didn't fit.  All in all... love it!

UPDATE!  I was just notified that I took 2nd Place with my "Mermaid's Fantasy Land" - $50 Gift  Certificate to Thearica's shop and a 2013 Pat Winter CQ Calendar - doing the happy dance!!!  To see all the entries ,please check out Thearica's post:  Message in a Bottle Contest Winners  Next time Thearica has a challenge - jump in - so much fun!

Mermaid's Fantasy Land

Thursday, February 21, 2013

CQJP 2012 Finally completed!

Yea!  have you ever worked on a project that you were almost done with and just couldn't figure out how to complete it?  For a couple of months I have had my last CQJP 2012 block (Dec) about 90% done but just couldn't for the life of me figure out what to do with the center.  Strange thing is I usually start my projects from the middle working out.  This time - Not!

The other day I posted on the Face Book page for CQJP that I needed some help trying to come up with something to bring my block all together.  Received some great ideas but the minute I read Maureen's suggestion for a cornucopia I knew what I needed to do.  I had bought 2 of these adorable little cornucopia motifs a while back from a lady in Belgium and never really thought about using them.  I had already dyed both pieces of lace so I was amazed that one of them fit perfectly in the center of my bock.  I decided to stitch it down and embellish it up so as to make it look like it was pouring out flowers.

Dec CQJP 2012 (After)

CQJP 2012 Dec (Before Center)

Now to get started on CQJP 2013.  Already have a few blocks made up so now need to find the time to play "dress up!"
For all you Crazy Quilters, Pat Winter's Spring Edition of Crazy Quilt Gatherings is now out and available through McCloud  CRAZY QUILT GATHERINGS recieved my copy yesterday and am blow away by the talent of so many ladies - beautiful job Pat! Oh, and by the way .... guess who is on the back cover?! If you've never bought this magazine is a MUST!  Back copies are available too as well as Pat's beautiful Calendar and BoHo Purse Magazine.




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