Saturday, January 30, 2010

SCENIC SUNDAY: Black & White

The Winter
is here
to stay
and rather
than wish it

I'll resolve to enjoy
beautiful about
this season.


I truly enjoy
Spring and Summer
and Fall
as much
the long

Friday, January 29, 2010

Vintage Quilt Update...

How much is that doggie in the window??

Here's a closer look!

Little Joey looks through the french door at the goings on...and wonders why he can't come in and be with us....poor Joey! (Joey is the sweetest dog EVER. But don't tell my dogs or the grandpuppies that I said that!)

I had told my good friend Shelley about my vintage quilt top I got from my sister and had her check it out on this blog the other day. She loved it and called me and asked me if I'd like to come to her house and tape down the quilt and get it pinned.

Oh, yes!

This job is always so much more pleasant to do with a friend!

We took our first quilting class together several years back and she has just taken off on it and has become a quilter extraordinaire! She thought she'd hate quilting and ended up getting so excited about it and being really good at it and she's done gorgeous work.

(Actually sometime I should take my camera over and just do a whole story on all her quilts and wall hangings. But I digress.)

I have an old house, and it might look like a big old house, but what is it really...?

This farmhouse is just a whole bunch of smallish rooms with tall ceilings, giving the illusion of big. The only floor that's hardwood with a big enough open space to lay out and tape and pin a big quilt is in a room where the PUPPIES LIVE. Ugh.

So, today we figured would be a good day. It was sunny and bright and a perfect day to get it done. I told her I'd be over around noon. While I was talking on the phone with her, going over everything I'd need to get the job done, I went in to the family room and found the puppies chewing on my son's Red Wing work boots.

I rushed in to save them from the pups and stubbed a toe on the coffee table leg. Not just a regular toe, the one next to the pinkie toe. Well, I growled to myself and kept on my morning routine so I could get my quilt stuff together and head over to Shelley's house.

But, this toe hurt unlike the other million and a half stubbed toes I've had in my lifetime. Every time I took a step, I felt and heard a distinctive crunching sound. That was not good, so I went and took some Advil. It wouldn't stop hurting and the pain was now radiating up into my foot. Hmm....this time I think I really did some damage. OH SNAP!!!!

I'm cursed with big feet. I am also in possession of very long toes. Add those two together and it's a terrible combination. I am always stubbing my poor toes and have probably broken them all at one time or another.

But this time was different. I called the doctor, and they sent me to an emergency clinic and so I got my quilt stuff loaded in the car and headed over.

To make a long story short, after some x-rays and an exam I learned that I've broke my toe AND the bones connected to it that go up into the foot and the break is in a spiral pattern. NICE!

So, the remedy? Be off my foot for a month.




I'm so very, very disappointed. Besides being a busy mom, I had really got back into walking on a very regular basis after I had gotten out of the habit over the holidays. I had finally worked my way up to fifteen miles this week, and next week I was going to shoot for 17 or 20.

So... now it looks like March is the next time I'll be earning my sanity while hooked up to my iTouch walking at the mall.

It was helping me sleep better, feel better and I just had more energy.
So...POOF! All that is OUT THE WINDOW.

But it could have been worse so I am going to try not to feel sorry for myself. Besides, I had already decided to HAND QUILT this vintage quilt top!

So guess what I'll be working on for the next month?!

I had decided after reading all of your advice yesterday to use muslin for the back and to hand quilt it. So this afternoon when I got done at the emergency clinic, I went to Shelley's and she helped her hopalong friend get this taped and pinned. I actually liked it more and more as we worked on it and I stopped to take a few pictures so you all could see it!

She's a beauty, even though the lady at the quilt shop called her "gaudy". (Sniff!)

I got some really wide muslin as the quilt top is larger than a full and just a hair smaller than a queen. I got the higher loft batting because it works better for hand-quilting.

Interestingly, the gal at the quilt shop told me that a quilt top that is old like this one has more value without being finished than it would have if I finished it with new fabric.

Since I'm not a collector, the value isn't anything I'm worried about. I want it to be a useful item so I'm finishing it.

I hope to show you soon the finished quilt. But that's a lot of hand stitchin' and I've got hobble upstairs to my sewing room and find my quilting thimble!

Wish me luck, my friends!

Wanting to see this through to finished may be the only thing to keep me off my feet for the next month!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Vintage Paint-by-Number!

In your stops at thrift stores, garage sales, consignment shops, keep your eyes out for these now-vintage paint-by-number oil paintings. Some are AMAZINGLY well-done. (The ones I tried when I was a kid, were decidedly amateurish and, I'm sure not something someone would buy today if they saw them!)

I have bought several over the past few years, and some went onto eBay, and they sold easily and sold well. I do really regret letting a few of them go.

From what I learned in my research for my eBay listings, the paint-by-numbers are more valuable if framed in their original frame (like the two above and some of those shown below) that came with the kits.

Some people collect only landscapes, some only seascapes. The ones that are most valuable now are paintings that depict a historical event, such as the first mission to the moon.

Some want any or all and don't care what the subject is! They make a grouping of them and somehow it just works!

(I give you three guesses at the ones I wish I'd kept!)

This work is flawless; VERY well done. Compare it to the puppy painting in the first photo. This one is so much finer. The puppy one is good and so much better than I could have done, but not as well-done as this.

Sorry, I'm needing a Kleenex right now. Excuse me, please.

Yes, they were a beautiful pair, done by the same elderly man, purchased at a garage sale just a couple miles from my house.... sniff.

And you have to say they're done so well, it's heartbreaking. I am so sorry that I let this pair go. It would have been PERFECT in my house.

(I knew not what I done did.)

This one sold easily and for good money even though there was a little stain in the upper right hand corner. The person who purchased it bought seascapes, harbor scenes and lighthouse paintings of all kinds.

This was a set of a famous clown; the pair was very expertly done the frames intact.... I did quite well because I think I paid less than a dollar for the pair. This one COULDN'T stay in my house if I'd wanted it, because one of my sons is creeped out by clowns and I just can't do it to him!

So, you might want to take a second look at the ugly stack of paintings on the bottom shelf of the Salvation Army store, and at garage sales (I usually find them UNDER tables for some reason!). You just might like collecting these beauties, too!

(The top painting is very small and very appropriate for my vintage children's toy/guest room that I'll be doing this spring. So I'm keeping that. The second and third paintings of the trees, water and mountains are still here, too. I'm undecided on whether to keep them.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Vintage Quilt Top! & A Few Questions? (HELP!!)

Look at this old quilt top my sis gave to me! She found it at a garage sale earlier this year! (It was marked 1930's. Who would sell something like that?!)

I'm so excited to get it finished, it's going to go in my "vintage toy" guest room once I get it done (this spring, I hope!!).

I have a white chenille bedspread I got at a garage sale for the bed and this quilt will look gorgeous folded and laid across the end of the bed.

I am looking for the right fabric for the back, but I thought I'd ask your input. On an old quilt like this, would they have used muslin? A calico print? Dark, light, white? Please help!


I plan to do cotton batting to keep the old look and will probably tie it off since I'm not a hand quilter and I think it would look strange to have it machine quilted?

What do you think, I'd appreciate any and all input, this will be a first for me, finishing off a vintage quilt! I'm excited, but a little scared, too, because I really don't want to ruin it.

I think this fan-pattern quilt top will look mighty happy with all the vintage toys and games I have saved for my kids. The bright yellow is, to me, FISHER PRICE yellow....and the other colors are bright and cheerful, just like kids toys.

Speaking of old quilts, have you seen the latest issue of MARYJANE'S FARM?

(I'm a new subscriber to her magazine, and so far I really like it. It's the only magazine I now subscribe to, since all the other "country mags" have either gone out of business or stupidly gone the way of cheap, Ikea, thin, Pottery Barn, quick, citified and UGLY!!!!!!)

In this issue is a really nice spread on ideas for vintage quilts and quilt blocks. I know my daughter just bought a bag of quilt blocks at an antique store and there are just some of the cutest projects in this issue.

If you'd like to see a magazine before subscribing, you can pick up an issue in Tractor Supply Co. and check it out and if you like it, just take one of their subscription postcards while you're there and put the magazine right back on the rack!

I am full of questions today.....I have another!

In addition to your input on the quilt top, I would like to ask:

Have any of you had a digital camera stop recognizing the memory card?

My old stand-by and trusted friend the Kodak has stopped reading the memory card I had. So I went and got a new one and I still get the same message: "Memory card is not formatted. Please format the memory card." So, I hit continue, and it won't format?!? I checked my lock, made sure that wasn't on and it still wouldn't format the memory card. What the heck?

HELP! I really miss my favorite little workhorse camera. Today I wanted to shoot video, ran to grab the camera and suddenly remembered, it won't work!

I hope you are all warm and cozy tonight, it's mighty cold here all of a sudden after our week long January thaw. Tonight sounds like the perfect time to sit and read MaryJane's Farm from cover to cover!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Across the Miles: A Birthday Wish for my First Born...

Twenty seven years ago today was one of the very best days of our lives...

We had our first little baby, a little rosebud girl. Complete with lots of dark hair that the nurses exclaimed over, a little button nose, and rose petal lips. She came out frowning at the light overhead! I remember that like it was yesterday, how she blinked her eyes as if saying "Shut that big sucker down, it's blinding me!!". I remember thinking how much she looked like daddy.

Our little 8# 13 oz. bouncing bundle of joy was happy to be here!

I was shocked that she kept her blue eyes, neither of us have blue eyes. Little did we know, her dark brown hair would grow in blond as could be!

She and I talked a lot, her and daddy rocked a lot and she was an astute observer of EVERYTHING. She thought sleep was a waste of time, and was very curious about everything that went on in our house.

(Her thing about not liking to sleep has since changed!)

She was such a curious little whip, she even liked to sit on my lap when I sewed...
(I enjoyed making her frilly dresses!)

Soon we sold our new Camero because car seats don't work out well with two-door vehicles. We bought a big behemoth of a Pontiac....with four doors. We were a family and we loved it.

Here she is around her first Christmas when she would have been around 11 months sportin' some new teeth and with her new Cabbage Patch doll...they were the "thing" that year, the first year they came out. Daddy bought hers from his work and couldn't wait to give it to her.

She has curlers in her hair...she was born with long hair and it grew like crazy. She needed her bangs cut so they would be out of her eyes by the time she was a few months old.

We had someone looking up to us now, following us in life. The realization that we were parents and this little one was totally our responsibility was both awesome and a little scary. A new parent really learns to pray!

Well, she grew up into a cutie pie and I'll just let the pictures roll now, what fun little girl she was, a little goofball really and she still is a lot of fun to be with; a regular little character. One of my favorite traits about Jamie is her work ethic and her sense of responsibility and she's a caring person who's generous to a fault.

Here she is at about age 5 with her little neighborhood friend, Katie.

Her second birthday.

My mom made this frilly little outfit. Jamie, and all the little girls in our family could not get away from ruffles and lace. I treated this kid like she was a doll, always changing her clothes. Whatever she had was passed down to my sister's little girls and it all got used for quite some time. So cute, and so much fun for moms to play dress up with little girls!

Maybe that is why her favorite outfit when she was older were a good pair of blue jeans, a plaid button up the front shirt and a pair of cowboy boots!

Oh, the poor little girl, I TIED a ring to her finger and around her wrist for pictures! (So she couldn't swallow it!)

I made her this little yellow dress with eyelet trim, one of my first attempts at making her dresses. I loved all the pastels. And I thought that tiny little patent leather purse was the cutest thing I ever did see! (And, her ring is on her finger without a tie this time!)

Grandma made her this confection of a lavender dress for her first Christmas, oh how I loved this one, it made the rounds to Jamie's cousins and I still have this in a box in the attic. She would twirl in this and looked just like a little porcelain doll!

Here she's showing her adorable chubby cheeks as well as her serious side, probably trying to figure the camera out. She grew up to take some photography and darkroom classes and is a really good little amateur photographer.

And a little Polly Flinder's pinafore dress in pink and white with the classic back lighting done in photo studios back then.

She became a big sister at about 17 months...and was always mom's little helper.

Oh, I just love this look in her kindergarten school picture!

She grew up, and was a great student, always her teachers liked her and couldn't say enough good about this little quiet girl. Little did we know that all through early elementary she had a substantial hearing loss and we worked on that with various surgeries, multiple sets of ear tubes, tonsillectomy and two adenoidectomies and she still did very well in all her grades...

We tried shorter hair in upper elementary and junior high. This was about the time another little brother joined the family. She was Luke's other mother....the best big sister in the whole world. He worshiped her.

She went through the mouth surgeries, roof expanders and years of braces, unfortunately for this girl she had two sides of family with tooth issues. She did as she was told by her orthodontist and came through with beautiful teeth.

This was around the time we got in the only car accident we'd ever been in and Jamie was the only one with injuries. She came through it with double black eyes, body bruises, contusions in her scalp and a pretty good concussion. She was a tough little spitfire.


A beautiful young lady.

One of her senior pictures I took out by the old barn in summer, with one of her kitties. So Jamie.

And we got a few senior shots in the winter with full snow. I love this one. She didn't inherit looking so darn cute in a hat from me....she got it from her little papa....he wore a cowboy hat and cowboy boots every day.

This is after her graduation from college and her move south on a visit up to see us one summer. She has one associates degree in business and one in automotive technology. She finished both in a little less than three years.
(One of her favorite classes was transmissions!!)

She always wants to visit Frankenmuth when she comes home....

Here's Jamie and her new husband, Thad on a visit home.

Nothin' more fun than bein' with my girl..

And a big, wonderful, happy day in her life, and a proud day for her mom and daddy.

And now, they are about to become a family of their own....and I'll get to watch my daughter become a mother. I am so happy for them and so excited to meet this new little fella.

It will be a special year for her 27th. They're about to buy their first house and about to become parents. Next year, she'll be bouncing a baby while she eats her birthday cheesecake!

Happy Birthday, Jamie. Me and Daddy love you to pieces.

And If I could, I would set you up on a chair in front of this scenery for a week for your birthday present.....


(Jamie took the photo above at the beach at Gulf Shores, AL)

Monday, January 25, 2010

We Believe...

We believe...

In the

Second Amendment




We appreciate that our forefathers saw the wisdom in the right of the individual. And even more their wisdom that the right of that individual included one to defend itself and its family and belongings.

It is not possible to regulate guns or outlaw guns for the citizens, and those including the outlaw and have good results. A criminal will always find a way to get a weapon. Therefore, we should always have the right to defend ourselves.

I find it complete ignorance to listen to someone try to argue away my right to a firearm. There is no defense for such a thing. None. I look at people who want to do away with gun rights as ignorant, weak cowards. It's a leg under our freedoms, without it, our freedoms are gone.

My little 5'2"sister once had to pull a revolver on a 6'4" nut that was at her door, threatening to burn down her house. Her little children and mine were in that home. She had no reason to believe this individual would not make good on his threat. Am I thankful she believed in the second amendment? You betcha!

I will always be thankful to my sister because she went and pulled out that revolver, loaded that sucker and pointed it at the violent piece of rage that was at her door and told him if he touched that door she would blow his head off, and she meant it. She was protecting her babies and mine; that big guy had no other reason to be afraid of my little sister. Thank you God, for the wisdom of our forefathers for preserving that right for us!

Did you know that in Sweden, every able young man must serve his country for two years?

(Not a bad idea at all.)

This is my heat-packin' daughter who's now 27, married and expecting her little boy this summer. She got her CCW back when she had to work and drive in a very undesirable location in an old industrial part of town. She has learned to shoot from dad since she was a little girl.

And that EVERY soldier is sent home with his automatic weapon upon honorable discharge?

THAT is why their crime rate is so low, because every criminal is guaranteed to meet up with an automatic weapon and therefore his life may be taken if he dares to break in and enter a home that is not his. Not a bad way to keep the peace.

Our forefathers knew that armed citizenry is sometimes the only thing that will keep a government (and a roaming criminal!) honest.

These are some good words from John Adams:

"Be not intimidated....from publishing with the utmost freedom whatever can be warranted by the laws of your country; nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberty by any pretenses of politeness, delicacy or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery, and cowardice."

Remember Autumn? My sweet, artistic tough-as-nails, newly married niece took this 4 x 5 South Dakota mule deer with a Vortek 209 x .50 muzzleloader. She will have stories to tell about this adventure for the rest of her life and can tuck away those memories that no one can take from her.
(Not to mention a full freezer with the best meat there is...venison that is organic and fat free!) Way to GO, Autumn!

Without firearms, stories like the one above would not be possible. I told you once that my niece is quite the hunter....and I am so proud of her and wanted to share this magazine article with you and show you the trophy she took while taking advantage of the freedoms we have in the great outdoors!