Starting anew is always a good thing! Here is Vol. 1 of "Artful Living on the Bluff" for you to enjoy. While I am not contributing new material to this blog, please feel free to look around and then visit me at the new and (hopefully) improved "Artful Living on the Bluff" blog at

Friday, October 25, 2013

Something New - Freeform Crochet

Not that I'm planning on becoming an avid crocheter but... I have really enjoyed trying my hand at freeform crochet! Here's my first "scrumble" (aka. a small piece of freeform knitting or crochet) made with yarn that I bought at a garage sale. It's not really my typical color palette but I bought a gallon zip-lock full of partial skeins and small balls of yarn - the perfect stuff for trying out a new technique. With the help of YouTube videos (most in Russian or German!) I had great fun exploring freeform crochet! :)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sonoran Skies Cuff

After finishing my latest neckpiece, Sonoran Skies, I decided to try to make a woven cuff to match. Here is the final product! -
Sonoran Skies Cuff by Cindy Caraway
I am quite proud of it but really wasn't too sure while I was making it....

Everything started as usual: a design was drawn up, colored, pinned to the board, warped with Irish waxed linen and off I went. Once the weaving was finished, though, I realized a couple of things: since I was used to sizing cuffs made with bead embroidery (which tend to be bulky), it was too long for being so thin and it felt too delicate to stand up to being worn on the wrist - I was afraid it would stretch out-of-shape too easily or snag on something.  
**That being said, please realize that I am a worrier and am always thinking about what could go wrong with a design or whether it can withstand being out in the "real world".

So... having a fabulous selection of very nice leather remnants thanks to my custom boot-maker friend, Paul (be sure to visit his site here), lining it with leather was my best option. And that's exactly what I did!

The top weaving is lined with one piece of leather and secured with embroidery (chain stitch) around the edge.

Then I padded the inside with some soft eco-felt and backed it with another piece of leather. The edge was finished with more embroidery (button-hole stitch).

I also added a clasp - two antique shell buttons and a wrap so the fit is completely adjustable.

Anyway, it's lovely (IMO) and super comfy to wear! My hubby even asked if I would make one for him (more masculine in it's design, of course!). Look for it soon in my shop on Etsy -

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Morning Coffee Quotes

St. Ulrich's Priory - Black Mountains, Germany - photo by Cindy Caraway
"Of all the people on the planet, you talk to yourself more than anyone. Make sure you are saying the right things."
- Martin Rooney

"The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Forgiveness is not a matter of exonerating people who have hurt you. They may not deserve exoneration. Forgiveness means cleansing your soul of the bitterness."
- Harold S. Kushner

"We gather our arms full of guilt as though it were precious stuff. It must be that we want it that way."
- John Steinbeck

"Failing to prepare is like preparing to fail."
- John R. Wooden

"The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong."
- Ecclesiastes 9:11

"People are attracted to you by what they see in you; they remain attracted to you by what you see in yourself."
- Mark Amend

"Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof."
- Kahlil Gibran

"Neither situations nor people can be altered by the interference of an outsider. If they are to be altered, that alteration must come from within."
- Phyllis Bottome

"The more you know the less you need to say."
- Jim Rohn

"Poor God, how often He is blamed for all the suffering in the world. It’s like praising Satan for allowing all the good that happens."
- E.A. Bucchianeri

"Those who lack the courage will always find a philosophy to justify it."
- Albert Camus

"Our lives change in two ways: through the people we meet and the books we read."
- Harvey MacKay

"He showed the words “chocolate cake” to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. “Guilt” was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: “celebration."
- Michael Pollan

"The weak makes excuses, the strong makes changes."
- Habeeb Akande

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sonoran Skies

Here's the latest of my woven neckpieces - - -
Sonoran Skies! 

This piece was inspired by the vintage copper brooch and built from there in a lovely color palette of turquoise, coral pink, rusty red and silver grays. The beads include copper prayer beads from Ethiopia, Czech glass, pink shell heishi and one beautiful Chinese cloisonne bead. The fibers used are perle cotton, silk and silver metallic threads woven over waxed Irish linen. I hope you like it! I will be posting it on Etsy later today but here are some other shots for you to enjoy in the meantime... :)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Morning Coffee Quotes

Christmas Lights Chicago - photo by Cindy Caraway

"To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life."
- Baruch Spinoza

"Pay your people the least possible and you'll get from them the same."
- Malcolm S. Forbes

"Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also."
- Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."
- Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues

"With most people, unbelief in one thing is founded upon blind belief in another."
- Georg C. Lichtenberg

"It’s a wonderful feeling when you discover some evidence to support your beliefs."
- Unknown

"In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."
- Albert Camus

"We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine."
- Dwight L. Moody

"No one’s happiness but my own is in my power to achieve or to destroy."
- Ayn Rand

"When ability exceeds ambition, or ambition exceeds ability, the likelihood of success is limited."
- Ralph Half

"Self-worth comes from one thing -- thinking that you are worthy."
- Wayne Dyer

"Confronted with the impossibility of remaining faithful to one’s beliefs, and the equal impossibility of becoming free of them, one can be driven to the most inhuman excesses."
- James Baldwin

"We learned more from a three minute record than we ever learned in school."
- Bruce Springsteen, No Surrender

"While we pursue happiness, we flee from contentment."
- Hasidic Proverb