Worthwhile Walk

Sometimes when I am totally absorbed in my project, it’s tough to stop everything and exercise. Since my walking depends on pretty fair weather, I have to be an opportunist. Today, was one of those times when I could have easily avoided exercising, but I pushed myself to make the better choice and was rewarded.

This dapper fellow just sat on the tree and waited for me to get my phone out of my jacket pocket, fumble with the camera button, then he waited some more as I took a few shots close, hoping at least one would be sort of focused! I didn’t get that little star on any of my pics indicating best shot, so you’ll have to bear with this one. I am greatly thankful for the pleasure this afforded me on what I thought would be a dutiful walk.
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Hot Pad Mania

img_20161207_1237372502For the past few days I have been doing some stash busting. My sister sent me this pitiful picture of her star hot pads.
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The situation called for immediate rescue. I probably over reacted, as I made fifteen! I think I can make these in my sleep now. I asked if she wanted a theme or color palette. Ha! She said to surprise her. Bad choice probably, and she knows my tendencies to the Bohemian side of things. You be the judge. Enjoy the pics.

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Vintage farm girl quilt

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Finished this quilt with machine and hand stitching. My sister, Cheryl and I made three variations EACH of these farm girl quilts while using Skype. We swapped fabrics and finished blocks. Her three quilts are done. I have two to go yet.

My Eternal Day

My life began on a Thursday night in May of 1976 at the age of 14.
I was a hell bound sinner and I knew it. About a year earlier, I privately asked the Lord to save me, but I found that I had no power over the influence of my “friends” and habits. After explaining to my mother of the darkness that is always around me, she told me that I would find the answer in the bible. So to the bible I went. But what I found was my ignorance and lack of understanding. However what I didn’t know was that the very author of the bible was very close by. So I asked the Lord in faith, if he would help me to be a Christian for just one day, because I didn’t have the power to do so. The next day was Friday. If I could just get through one day being a Christian, I could hide away the other two days with him. Kind of silly thinking I know, but what can you expect from an ignorant 14 year old? While I spoke to him I felt his presence and told the Lord that I was sorry for my sin. I immediately remembered the beer bottle I had hid in grandma’s trailer, so I went and dumped it out. That Friday was a day I will never forget. It was just me and Jesus and I knew it. After that day, I started reading the bible. Not long after all my Rock music albums seemed vile to me, so out they went too. Every Sunday I looked forward to going to church with my grandma. (She didn’t even have to bribe with Ice crème.) I am still living in that eternal day, because the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. (see Romans 11:29)

About two or three weeks later, I was doing something ornery to my sister Florence (this was very common for me) and my Grandma said “Marvin that’s not very Christian.” I was surprised that she would say that, and so I replied “who said I was a Christian?” Then grandma said “I can tell you are a Christian by the change in your life.” So there I was, an ornery Christian. I was found out. The sad thing was that instead of being ashamed of being ornery to Flo, I was ashamed of being found out to be a Christian. But I couldn’t deny the peace that Jesus gave me, so I went to the Pastor and asked if I could be baptized, because I wanted the whole world to know that I belonged to Jesus.

I can’t say I was perfect from then on, but what I can say is that I have an eternal Father that will never leave me, a comforter to guide me, and a true savior who will always love and keep me as his own. When I went to the word I found the Word, and now I will dwell with him forever.

Two Naughty Rabbits

We are sisters and best friends.

We are sisters and best friends.

Don't look behind you sister, but we have company!

Don’t look behind you sister, but we have company! Let’s give them something to talk about.

I have the perfect idea.....Pspspspsp..OK?

I have the perfect idea…..Pspspspsp..OK?

Hah! What do think of that busybodies? Tail trims!!

Hah! What do think of that busybodies? Tail trims!!

Uh Oh! Mother is calling, we better get hopping!

Uh Oh! Mother is calling, we better get hopping!

This little scenario was made possible by Sue Quinn who wrote the delightful book: How To Sew Little Felt Animals.  See here: https://www.amazon.com/How-Sew-Little-Felt-Animals/dp/1782210709

I made these two rabbits for my granddaughter’s birthday.  The rabbits are seven inches tall from the tips of their ears to their hoppy feet. The background was an child’s apron by NOW designs, 100% cotton with a water proof back for ages 2-7.

“Going Coastal”

GoingCoastalQuilt2_Aug2016Another quilt finished!  This one was made for Marvin. His birthday was coming up, and I realized I had never made a quilt just special for him, even though we have lots of quilts around the house. I had finally gotten some fabric from one of Janet Clare’s collections of “Hearty Good Wishes” [http://blog.modafabrics.com/team/janet-clare/].  I love her colors and designs. There is also a bit of another one of her collections called “Nocturne” left over from my granddaughter’s quilt mixed in. I used this quilt design, because all I could find were precuts in the “Hearty Good Wishes” collections. The large triangles were layer cake slices cut in half, some charm packs and other bits to do the patched blocks. I did not make a note of the backing fabric that I bought on sale in a local quilt store.

GoingCoastalQuilt4_Aug2016This close up shows off more of the cool motifs in the fabric. Below  shows a bit of the backing fabric. It was a solid navy with white line drawings of different sailing craft.

GoingCoastalReverse_Aug2016We took the quilt to one of our favorite beaches to take the pictures. It was one of the hottest days of the summer inland, but on the coast is was in the low sixties, fogged in and misting. Quite refreshing after all the heat.

 

 

 

 

Below is a close up of the quilt label. “Friend of the Sea”  is actually what the name Marvin means. He truly loves to go over the coast every chance we get.

GoingCoastalQuilt_Label_Aug2016 - CopyIMG_2764Many happy snuggles in your new quilt!

Birthday Surprise

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After 60, birthday surprises are harder to come by, so I thought! The surprise wasn’t so much what was coming, but how COOL it was.  For my birthday, I asked Jon to drive me in his truck to a town where there is one of my favorite “antique” junk shops. Every time in the past I have explored their offerings, I have noted several corner cupboards. But wouldn’t you know it, that on the day I go prepared to haul something home, nothing is suitable. There were a few corner shelves made from old doors and things, but not an official corner cupboard. Shucks. But I at least enjoyed the hunt, so it still counted as my birthday outing.  Jon mentioned after seeing the offerings, that maybe he would make me one. I happened to have a corner cupboard building plan on my “Creative Displays” Pinterest board, so I emailed it over just in case he might want to keep it simple.

I sent over this link: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/500251471092033493/

At my birthday party, I was given a progress report.

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Jon was using lumber from a tree he had cut down and milled on his sawmill. I am standing by the stump cleaning up some walnuts the previous fall. I was seriously impressed with the makings of my cupboard. I did not have to wait too long for the final product to be delivered to me.

 

IMG_2706Jon has the picture of the message he burned into the wood on the back, and I insisted he sign his name and date.  I will add that pic at a later date.

Now for the job of painting or staining it. I pretty much decided I wanted to try Miss Mustard Seeds milk paint products.

See here: http://missmustardseedsmilkpaint.com/

I ordered my product locally from El & EM at www.elandem.net. Their service was timely and efficient: critical components for DIY folks. The hard part was choosing a color!  I wanted to try quite a few, but after assessing my decor, I settled for Layla’s mint. I had a hard time not choosing one of the blues or lavenders. Also, I have not waxed or oiled my cupboard yet. The product was easy to use, and I read all the information on Miss Mustard Seeds’ web page before starting.

BottomHalfCupboardFinal1_web- CopyThis is a close up of the bottom of the cupboard. Jon put silver sailboat knobs on the cupboard, and I just love them. Inside the cupboard on the bottom shelf is a quilt my great grandmother made for me when I was born. It is done with 1940’s fabrics in the Arkansas Snowflake block, and the bottom quilt was made for me by my sister and mother, and it is so worn, that I can only display it now.

CupboardMiddleShelf_web CopyThis is a close up of the bottom shelf of the top half of the cupboard. I arranged some dried and silk flowers in an old brown bowl used for baking beans that belonged to my great grandmother. On the right is a pottery made my son Dan, and the left is a ceramic “granite” watering can. Since I love birds, I had to nestle one in my arrangement.

CupboardFloralCloseup_webNow for a close up on the middle shelf.

CupboardTopMiddleShelf- web- CopyHere, I decided to be different and hang my little bird plate. Suzanne gave me the ceramic blue Mason jars. I do not have anything in them YET.  The butter dish is from my favorite pottery company:http://www.polishpotteryonline.com/polish-pottery.html

CupboardTrain_MouseCloseUp_web (2)Also on this shelf is a very old wooden train that is used for displaying birthday candles on a cake. My grandfather, worked on the railroad all his life, and anyone in the family who wanted or needed five candles or less, could have this train on their birthday cake. The little brass mouse displays the thought for the day, or when I get it changed. This one says:

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life”  Proverbs 11:30a

I thought that was a fitting verse, for a cupboard that was a tree not too long ago.

CupboardTopShelf_webAnd to close, the last shelf at the top has my set of Chinese noodle bowls and a beautiful pear candle.

Thanks for your time.

 

Polish Pottery StonewareCasual dinnerware handmade in Boleslawiec, Poland.

 

 

Spring Recital Strawberry Short[?]cake

image1 (2) The idea to decorate the cake in this fashion came from the picture at this web page: http://www.mycakeschool.com/video-tutorials/dressed-elegance-tutorial/   However, the recipe I used to bake this cake can be found here: http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Strawberry-Layer-Cake-1167635  It is a large cake and the recipe will make three nine inch layers. My layers were larger though. It is a wonderful cake to serve with strawberries and cream, which we did. It tastes like a pound cake, but is not made with as much butter. The recipe replaces a lot of butter with a light olive oil and sour cream.  One recipe was enough to do one large layer [12 inches diam]  on the bottom and one smaller lay [6 inches diam] for the top, so this cake took three recipes. I baked the cakes the day before, and it held over very well covered in the fridge overnight. I used a cream cheese butter cream type frosting that was easy to pipe for all the doodles and between the layers. I was also impressed with how evenly and high the cake layers rose, the texture, and the lovely rich vanilla flavor.

Since this cake was the refreshment for a Spring Music recital, I added lots of music score doodles and an occasional surprise doodle for the teacher. I took the cake to the event in two sections: the large bottom layers, and the top small layers on their own six inch cake board. Six wooden cake supports were used to hold the bottom layers together which were positioned just inside the circle of the top layer which was sitting on a small 6 inch round cake board that had the center hole punched out. There was one long stick down the center of all the layers. Adding the fresh strawberries, dusting of powdered sugar, and a piping of “pearls” to join the “seam” between the large and small sections finished it off.  It was a tad messy with the powder sugar, but I had taken a small pastry brush to sweep up the stray sugars. There were about 7 or 8 little doodle styles repeated randomly many times. It was a simple yet impressive dessert. Four students volunteered to bring 4 quarts each of sliced sugared strawberries, and the cream was the squirt can variety.

I was not a caterer. This was a labor of love for my daughter-in-law to support her and her  music studio, and all her wonderfully talented students who surprise us every year with new accomplishments.

Two Surprises in One Day!

What a banner day it has been. On my way to the clubhouse to pick up my gift basket [see previous post], I stopped to check the mail and had a notice there was a package for me at the office as well.  Full of excitement, I had to juggle the gift basket and the box on the walk back to my apartment. The box was from a “Sister Quilter” and that could mean at the least FABRIC!  Yes, it was fabric, lots of scrappy old friends from our last project, and new ones for the current project. Nestled in among all those cozy scraps were these two quilty mugs with jaunty red spoons. I made them right at home on my mug rack [actually a pie server, but it was a perfect mug rack in my opinion].

SisterMugs My quilt sister is really a sister, and we have been quilting Vintage Farm Girl quilts [pattern by Lori Holt] via Skype. When you live about six states apart, Skype makes a great way for quilters to conference together on their projects and do “Show and Tell.”  First, we planned for one quilt, and we would swap blocks. Then we got so carried away with the cute options, not to mention designing a couple of our own blocks. So after swapping back and forth, it was obvious two quilts apiece were in the works. Then when we Skyped last, my sister announced that she is starting a third Vintage Farm Quilt with a fall theme, and I did a show and tell with the two quilts I had pinned and readied for quilting. I decided to try another layout using the small star blocks in combination with the larger farm blocks. Those farm girl blocks are addictive.  Now with this new box of scraps, I could….well future posts will tell.   Stay tuned.

 

Memorial Day Gift Basket Win!

What fun to have the phone ring to find out you’ve won a gift basket!  Yes, it was for writing letters to veterans. I was glad to do it, and I wrote several. After the club house at our apartments called to tell me the good news, I started thinking if I knew any veteran I could pass it on to.  Then I had a great idea…I am married to a veteran!  I will give it to Marvin. He joined the U.S. Army right after we married and served 8 years, with a duty tour in Korea. He certainly deserved a gift basket for his service.

MemorialDayGiftBasketRockCreek2016As you can see in the basket, I will probably get to have the garden tools and the pink storage basket, the rest is fun food and drinks, which the honored veteran will probably share.  :).