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Debra Quartermain Design
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 the CEO! Creative Eternal Optimist! Blog 
Tuesday, December 29 2009

Another year comes to an end and 2010 is almost here, a new year, a new decade. Every year is filled with events, constant change, many minor, some major and with people we share some part of our lives with. Those we love, those we know and connect with all shape our lives. Some leave us and it is always too soon, we grieve and remember them with love forever in our hearts. 2009 held several major life events for me personally, my Mom's passing and both daughters graduating one from high school and one from university. I enjoyed the gifts of a couple of new very dear friends and a wonderful man has come into my life. I danced in the waves of the Pacific Ocean and swam in the warm Atlantic off Haiti. It has been a year of many blessings for which I am truly grateful.

(California at the ocean, photo by dear friend Michelle Zimmerman)

The waves of the ocean are constant yet everchanging. As far as the eye can see the blueness stretches, crystal shimmers from the sun dance across the surface. Such a timeless and infinite beauty with magical motion in each wave that frolic across the sand.

Like the constant wondrous waves of the ocean the past year has been filled with wonderful women who I am very grateful to know and who are my friends. They have taught me much about life, about commitment and caring, creativity and character, listening and loving, showing up and sharing. THANK YOU to the women who are part of my life, thank you for being there, thank you for being magnificent, marvellous, awesome YOU! Thank you for the JOY! With gratitude & love, Debra

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 08:45 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, December 21 2009

One of my favourite materials to work with is felt. There are several kinds to choose from depending on the project. Lately I have been working with the new Xotic Bamboo felt from National Nonwoven. It is very soft and available in a range of fun bright colors. I featured the product and the company in my Creative Homearts column "Make it Green" for the December issue. These funky ornaments are quick and easy to make! Add some decorative stitches and hot fix crystals for extra detail and bling!

Simple, easy and inexpensive gifts and ornaments can be created from felt. Cookie cutters make great patterns. Place the felt on a soft surface. By pressing the sharp side of the cookie cutter firmly onto the felt an imprint is made to cut around easily. Stitch or glue, embellish and stuff! 

Happy Crafty Holidays! Always follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!!!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain AT 11:22 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, December 18 2009

Yesterday was the anniversary of a very special day, eighteen years ago on December 17th my youngest daughter arrived. Twelve days old on a very snowy day, a car seat hastily borrowed from a dear friend Claire to bring her home in. Her Dad went to school to pick up our nine year old, all she wanted for Christmas was a baby sister and her wish came true. I sat holding baby Katy when Amanda walked in, such a surprised look on her face, then excitement and happy tears. We placed a cradle under the tree and baby Katy slept there as the visitors came. It was a Christmas to remember always!

And now as it is Fowl Friday I turn over the blog to Fran who will fill you in on how yesterday was celebrated with the annual Gingerbread House creation! Each year the girls choose a theme for the Gingerbread House and at the ages of eighteen and twenty-seven there is no cute red and green with an elf here and there. This year the theme is a tribute to Michael Jackson's Thriller!

Finally Fran here. Well the table was littered with all kinds of stuff, the sweet sticky kind of which there is never enough!

The girls were all dressed cozy in hoodies and jeans while visions of tombstones were decked out in jelly beans!

When up on the roof there arose such a clatter, Kate tried to shoo us off, it just didn't matter.
We tried to stick a gummy worm here or there but the girls said no, twas so unfair!

Soon the house was finished with strange delight and for all it was indeed a very Merry Night!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 08:25 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Wednesday, December 16 2009

This year I travelled more than usual and sometimes missed things, that would translate into missing things at home and also more often than not overlooking other things. One such item was a post I did for the wonderful site "Craft for Health", the creative partnership of Kathy Peterson and Barb Dehn. Their blog features people from all over the world sharing their inspirational stories of how crafting has impacted their lives and those they share their gifts with. When our hands and mind are involved in the act of creation, our bodies relax and rejuvenate, creativity is good for us in so many ways.

The post I did way back in October tells the story of the Craft Club I started several years ago at my daughter's elementary school. There was an art room available to use and I brought in supplies for weekly noon hour craft projects. It was so much fun and the kids enjoyed themselves. Whatever their mood when they arrived was by the end of the hour they all left relaxed and happy. I will always remember one little boy coming up to me and saying he couldn't sleep the night before because he was so excited to come to Craft Club and make a bear! Read the full post (Oct 21st, near bottom of page)

What we create everyday touches someone and when we share that love of creativity we touch the world. We all make a difference! Always follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 10:20 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, December 15 2009

JOY is only defined by the feeling, how it arrives, the possibilities endless! Around our home this year JOY is a couple of small and furry packages, our ragdoll kittens Milla & Bella Blue's first Christmas.

The story unfolds! "So big sis what shall we do today?"

"How about trying to catch one of these sparkly toys Debra left dangling for us. I'll give you a boost!"

"Thanks Milla, now I can reach the new toys! Oh such fun!"

"That's it Bella, just jump up and hit it again. Way to go kid!"

"OOps! Busted! Oh well good thing we are adorable!"

"Now what!? Big Sis help!" Always follow the JOY! Debra, CEO!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 09:24 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Monday, December 14 2009

'Tis the Season is heard often these days when we turn our minds and hearts purposely to giving and sharing. The music, the lights and the messages are everywhere. I know for many it is also a time when loss is felt more keenly, stresses financially and others to perform and do so much this time of year can be exhausting. We can not do it all or make the Holidays for others by over extending ourselves in any way.

This year will be my first Christmas without my Mom, I have spent every Christmas with my Mom my entire life and find myself forgetting, the pink sweater I saw the other day she would have loved. (the pink thing is indeed hereditary!) I miss her dearly but remember how much she enjoyed the Holidays last year in her new apartment with us. She loved to sit with the music playing and the fireplace glowing. My oldest daughter is off to ski for the Holidays with her wonderful birth family so my youngest and I will celebrate here a little differently. No tree this year for the first time but with two kittens probably a good thing! The place is still decorated and the girls are making their traditional non traditional Gingerbread House this week. (This year's theme a homage to Michael Jackson's Thriller, always a challenge to fit it into the decorating scheme!) We are not having turkey instead a yummy seafood casserole.

I have also someone special in my life now and part of my holidays will be elsewhere. So the season like life itself changes and the emotions are a mix as well. That is life and in life the sorrows allow us to also know and appreciate true JOY. Each morning I put on the twinkling lights around the house and the Holiday music, I sing and dance (great aerobics!) around the house with each window a wintery masterpiece of snow covered trees and sparkly land.

What anyone really wants is connection, compassion and caring, the gift of another person whether with a visit, a call, a card that expresses the importance of one for another. We never know how long we are meant to be here, may those we love know always how much they mean to us. Make this a season of love, love messages from the heart that is the JOY of the season! Follow the JOY always! Debra, CEO!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 08:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, December 11 2009

'Tis the season, a sad season for fowls like Freda & myself, Christmas dinner we won't even go there! Meanwhile Debra goes about the house with the holiday music playing really loud, singing and dancing with lights twinkling here and there. We think she is way too happy these days and has completely ignored us all together for weeks! We are so sad stuck in this snowy landscape, one step outside and icicles start hanging from our tail feathers. The experience of sticks of frozen water on your person is not pleasant AT ALL! Our friends are all heading south, they are snowbirds ready to fly as soon as the Holidays are over. Soon they will be lazing on sandy beaches while we are here picking ice out of very delicate regions! Debra has been enjoying travelling south lately, you would think she might have offered to take us but oh no there isn't any room for two fowl when "lovebirds" are travelling.

So we can only dream of lazing in the sun and say Bon Voyage to our friends. We will have to be content with sunny afternoons and lazing on the sewing table inside along with those stupid cats who think that a sunny spot anywhere is wonderful!

The December issue of Creative Homearts magazine features two of our Snowbird friends ready to take off for warmer skies. Debra apparently created them, nice outfits, hope we at least get a hat and scarf set for Christmas! Follow the Fowl, Fran & Freda!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Wednesday, December 09 2009

One of my very talented designer friends Eileen Hull creates magic with matboard. She has a new line of dies coming out with Sizzix that cut some very cool shapes from matboard or cardboard. Every week a group of designers create a project using a particular shape. This week's is the Business Card Holder. I used iron on suede to cover mine and added black brads to hold it together. I added a ribbon handle as I wanted a purse look and letter brads to match my business cards. Now I have something fun and useful to take my cards in! There are several other dies in the series. Check out Eileen's blog to see all the projects and to learn more about these wonderful new dies from Sizzix designed by Eileen!

Keep Creating! Follow the JOY! Debra

Posted by: Debra Quartermain CEO! AT 07:38 am   |  Permalink   |  5 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, December 08 2009

I returned yesterday from a week completely away from my online world, an unexpected spur of the moment invitation to go on the maiden cruise of the new Oasis of the Seas, the largest cruise ship ever built accommodating 5500 guests. This was my first cruise and I had the best time! The ship is amazing and very beautiful. There is an artist in residence onboard, the attention to detail in choosing pieces was very evident. We had a wonderful cabin with a deck on the ocean side and in our hallway was a fabric sculpture beaded piece of sea creatures. I noticed something different each time I went by the piece.

The artwork was sea or nature inspired captured in stunning light creations, sculpture, art, mixed media and photography, each stairway, landing revealed another piece. My second favorite piece were the metal gold and silver sculptured trees in the Promenade with beautiful butterflies floating among the branches.

Even though there were that many people onboard, approximately 5000 guests and 2000 crew there were many places to go that were still quiet and secluded onboard. In the cabin with glass doors to our ocean view deck it was so quiet except for the gentle sound of the water it felt like you were the only ones on the ship.

To take a week off at this time was something I had to think about and decide could I just go with a few days notice. What I have realized more than anything this past year is life is truly short, magic moments need to be taken and deeply enjoyed for tomorrow is an unknown yet today is a place to find the love, JOY, inspiration and al that makes the heart sing! I follow my heart always and this past week I dove into an ocean of wonder and JOY!

Posted by: Debra Quartermain, CEO! AT 09:39 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
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Debra Quartermain Design

 Magical Mimi to Grandlittles, I love to create, decorate & celebrate. Sharing  joy and inspiration from our 200 year old home, Quartermain House B&B on the east coast of Canada.

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