Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Cleaning

What is it about Spring that makes us want to clean?
To organize and declutter.
Is it that we are ready to open the long closed up house to fresh air
while bringing that same fresh sense to ourselves?
Spring brings with it a sense of renewal, fresh starts
and newness...
With the sense of getting our homes in order,
we often find an order for our soul's.

Making mental to do lists for everything we want to 'create'
once the weather warms.
Garden's are planed, and brought to fruition,
new flowers are noticed, and shared.
Quiet Summer evenings are fancied,
as are long walk's and gatherings.

Dreams are awakened, as the first crocus' are discovered.

And so it is...
before we can go out and play,
we must first finish our chores...

Smile and remember;
We're fool's wether we dance or not. So we might as well dance.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Mother's Garden

I told my Mom about 15 years ago, that I wanted to learn to piece quilt tops.
Next thing I know, she brought me this...
She told me she started this "Grandmother's Garden" quilt when she was expecting her 5th baby.
That was 57 years ago now!!
It has always intimidated me.
I wasn't smart enough to ask her while she was alive, how to do it.
I asked others after her death how to finish it...their answers were to give it a boaring white back and just cut it off square. 
That would cause her to roll in her grave!!! She was the woman who painted her living room turquoise blue!!!
 Look at it-does it look like a quilt that should have a plain white back?!
So I put it away again for a few years-wondering often how I was going to finish it.
Then came retro fabrics!! Viola! Just what I had been waiting for!  So I spent some time collecting just the right pieces, still wondering what to do with the back. I need 16 half flowers to finish the sides and then more yellows to fill it it to be square. I was ready!
Or so I thought. I pulled out the quilt and looked at it to try to get the feel of how she did it. (Cussing myself for not asking her to show me when she brought it. Which is more than likely what she was hoping for!),
she sewed a little on the machine and little by hand...but why?!
Then I tried to do a half flower and it all became crystal clear.
My first attempt took me half a day! I knew it wasn't taking her that long-I was missing something.
You can sew some on the machine, but you have to do the rest by hand to get it to lay right!
Here is my first attempt;
Here it is after I un-picked it and did it half by hand;
I now have three half flowers left to sew together, The back and binding I chose is green's-I thought Flowers have green stem's and leaves-It'll work!!!
I love working on the quilt, it fill's quiet time while Tiny Dancer naps, I think about people, things, and places while I work on working on a flower garden
It brings me contentment on many levels.

Smile and remember;
We're fool's wether we dance or not. So we might as well dance.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day Book

Outside My's a beautiful day. We went for our first walk of the year, using the new wagon indstead of the stroller. It was nice. 

I am thinking...about my Mom as I work on the quilt she started. When I get it done I will show you :)

I am thankful for...our family, health and home. I look at the the world around me and every day I am more thankful for the things I see that I have and often take for granted. I started adding at the end of my personal journal entries, to write the things I am thankful for-It's interesting that once you start looking at the blessings you have, more come.

From the kitchen...The sound of the dish washer running, is oddly soothing.

I am wearing...capri's in the hope that the warm weather will be here for a while now.

I am creating...images of a slimmer me-if you picture it it will come...right?! I gotta lose some weight!

I am the post office in a while.

I am reading...a new book at night to my Honey. I'm not sure if I like it or not yet. The book, I enjoy reading to Honey :)

I am finish the projects I have lined up for myself this year.

I am hearing...a single engine airplane flying over reminds me of mail arriving.

Around the's quiet. Nap time is when I sit down and do a few things for myself if I have all my chores finished.

One of my favorite seeing Honey 'puttering' in the yard or on his garage...He look's content.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: I'd like to get some of our old pictures scanned into my computer. Finish the flowers for the quilt edge and charge camera batteries for the week-end.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
If I were a duck and tried to sleep like that
I'd be the duck that tipped over...

Smile and remember;
We're fool's wether we dance or not. So we might as well dance.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Random Thoughts...

Just thought I'd share a few things I have been 'chewing on' lately...

I'm thinking about the way things used to be made.
Like children's toy's. By hand and to their size and every bit as beautiful as the grown up versions.
Kids didn't need a lot of toy's-and the ones they did have were useful, imagination run, and kept us intertained for hours, some times day's, and if we were careful with them we may still have them.
Just thinking about my old rocking chair...
It was everything from a dog sled to the window of Rapunzel. I learned to rock my baby doll's there and it was even the place I sat waiting for my Dad to get home the day I colored a house on the front of ours-
The little cupboard that Grampa Ben made that survived all of us kids and many of our Grand children now as well...Toys were made well and wonderful teaching/learning tool's...
That's all I have to say about hat.

Spring time...And daylight saving time...
Love one hate the other.
I struggle more each time it changes!
I am tired and cranky-for at least 1-2 week's because I have to get up an hour earlier! My brain really doesn't care that the clock say's it's 5a.m. while my body is protesting, snuggeling deeper under the quilts and wanting to scream that it is only 4 a.m.!!!
In the Spring time if you want to know what the weather is...
Just look out the window...
And if you don't like it?
Just wait 10 minutes and it will have changed.
Ok, that's off my chest...

Next up...
I've alway's liked honey. But now that I know more about it, I love honey.
(Both the Honey Bee kind and my Honey Husband kind)
If you haven't looked into all that honey can do, please check out this site...
Last year is the first time I have ever bought honey straight from the beekeeper and may I just tell you-I have never had better honey in my life!
I try to have a table spoon every morning and I can tell when I have forgotten for a few day's...
Plus! It will never go bad!
It might get solid, yes.
But to soften it up, just get a candle warmer and set your jar there and let it heat up gently. It used to be we would throw it into a boiling pot of water-but that heats it up to much and takes away some of the important properties of it...
Trust me-try the candle warmer-


I think I should have been consulted on some of the actor's for the "Twilight" movies...
I think they did ok with "Jacob", but I think they were way off on "Edward"
That's what I'm saying...

 I think this guy should have been cast as 'Edward".
I mean look at that jawline!!!
Those eyes!!
And yes. I have a picture of the "walk away".

I'm jut saying they should have asked me about it first...

It would have turned "Edward" from ~Nyeehha...
To Mr. Darcy walking through the misty morning...

Ok, I'm done now...

Smile and remember;
We're fool's wether we dance or not. So we might as well dance.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Sweater...

Is finished at last!!
It isn't a hard pattern or even one that should have taken me the year it did to make it.
In my own defence...I did set this one aside to complete lots and lots of other things.
Once Christmas was passed it was time to work on 'me' things for a bit.

I found the pattern years ago in a very old, new, book that I found at a second hand store.

I made one following the pattern and my sister's liked it, so I let them take the pattern and they did it exactly the same only a little bit different...they made theirs wider and a little longer. I liked it better and then promptly procrastinated doing another one. Then the need arose last year and I didn't have what I needed. 

Now I do.

 Here is the finished sweater:

It is sewn from the wrist to just about the elbow on each side.
Now, I can read our bed time stories during the Winter months when the cold seems to seep through the walls and around my shoulders, without complaint.  It will even come in handy on evenings we sit out longer on the patio during the summer.

Smile and remember;
We're fool's whether we dance or not. So we might as well dnce.

I have been trying to find out if the magazine is still published and found this;

So if anyone is interested in the pattern please let me know and I will 'share it' with you.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mystery Skirt...

I have a very 'gifted' sister...
She has  the uncommon ability to take a picture of antique handwork that is really hard and make a pattern from it.  And she is sharing that skill with our town's museum...right now she is working on reproducing some amazing pieces of knit and shuttle tatting. As she was going through some of the unidentified things in the 'back room', she came across these, and knowing my...quirky taste in clothes, wanted to show them to me. She described them as, "Not culottes, but like that, but a riding skirt...sort of."
Well I ask you-how could I resist seeing them?!

Before I show them to you please let me tell you what I learned about them going in to see them.

They were made to be worn in the First - Peach Day Parade in 1907. There were 12 women in the Civic Improvement Club who were each riding white horses and wore white shirts and black silk hats with these "coulottes".  They are hand made (though a treadle sewing machine may have been used-no electricity was involved- rendering them handmade).
The fabric is a Medium weight canvas type faberic. 

So here is the 'Mystery Skirt"...

Front; opened up.

Front; closed as they may have been when worn;

Back; (pulled to show they are pants) 

After looking at them I was amazed at how beautiful they would look while being worn walking, standing, or riding a horse. If you didn't know that they were split like pants you would have had no idea they were anything other than a long skirt.

I was inthralled!! Totally captivated and charmed!

And I want some!

 I also knew that the only way you would be able to "take a pattern" would be to take them apart and that is totally out of the question. I told my sister and the museum director I would find out exactly what they were and how to make them...if I could.

So I went home and started to 'google'. By the end of the night I could tell you that they were not;
Coulottes, Western riding skirt's, Traditional wrap skirts or pants.

Frustrated I went to bed, and went back to looking before breakfast the next morning. I finally got desparate and googled; 'Victorian wrap pants skirts sewing tutorial' (or some such crazy thing) and hit enter.
A long list of stuff came up and I started checking, not really expecting to find what I was looking for...opened the 'Vouge Folkwear pattern' site  and start skimming it...And all of the sudden there they were!!! A pattern!
So to be sure I next googled the name given and found histories and photos and...Ta-Da pictures!!

Picture found on a google search of Hakama pant pictures

They are "Hakama Pants' worn during the Japanese Edo era from 1615-1868 by Samauri Worriors.

The ones used in the parade were modified to be "modest' and cover the women's sides and lengthened in the back to better resemble the skirt's of the day...but the mystery was solved...
or was it?!
It opened me up to many more questions...

Smile and remember;
We're fools whether we dance or not. So we might as well dance.

p.s. sister has been invited to come reproduce antique and lost art's handwork in a neighboring town's museum :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Red Chair

My Mom used to have a ceramic shop in her basement that had 2 large tables and many mis-matched chairs for patron's to use as they visited and painted, or painted and visited...or just came to visit.
One of those chair's made it to my garage, where it had been languishing in a corner for some time,
until it was rescued and brought in to be used as a sewing chair...
It's not in the best shape but is still pretty darn comfortable to sit in.

It look's like Mom got her trusty can of spray paint in action
way before I did...

Honey told me the best place to do my latest
spur of the moment, immediately needed, project would not be any place on the cement, but rather on the gravel in 'The Out Back'...
He was right.

One and a half can's of spray paint and two very sore finger's - and a thumb -
from pushing on the little nozzel thingy later
~ Viola! ~

This little chair no longer had the blues!!

Then after it dried a little and before the Spring wind blustered in the snow and rain that prevailed throughout the remainder of the day-it was introduced back into the house were it could dry off unmolested for the remainder of the week end...
Next up...
The little cupboard returns to it's original  carnation pink.

But that's a ree-hehe-al-ly warm Summer day project I think.

Smile and remember;
We're fool's whether we dance or not. So we might as well dance.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Woe is me!!

Woe means ; misery resulting from affliction.

I don't kow about the affliction but I have a touch of the misery today,
it reminds me of a couple of other times I've giggled and said
Woe is me!!

Once upon a time we spent two summers in Alaska where
I was the laundry lady. The water was melted snow,
the machine was a new fangled electric wringer washer...
Phhft ~ no problem,
I'd watched my Grampa use one when I was a kid.

I learned the hard way about how tight the wringers are...
I was feeding clothes into the wringer when a hankie was going through without dropping off on the other I tried to lift it off. Before I could my index and middle finger's were caught...
and rolling through! It hurt! A lot!
I was in a position not to reach the break away, so I lifted my knee as high as I could and kicked the reverse lever. Then watched as my finger,s slower than time, rolled back out.
Did I mention it hurt? A lot!!

No one was around to witness my woe.
I showed Honey,
he looked at it and said it was't bad, I'd be sore for a little while,
then he kissed it better for me.

Years later, but when I still had legs that could get away with wearing shoes similar to these;
I had the opportunity to be walking across a parking lot toward a very prestigous building. In order to reach said building I need to step up over a curb of cemement.
Mind, it was a beautiful, clear, warm day.
As I set my foot down,
Something went terrible wrong.
And I dropped like a ton of brick's.
Twisting both ankles on the way down,
 no one was around to see my woe, 
I know, because the first thing I did was jump up and look around to make sure.
When I go thome I showed Honey,
He looked at them, wrapped them for me, told me I'd be sore for a few day's
then he kissed me better.

That was the day I stopped wearing high heel's...

My next tail of woe happened just last night.
Youv'e seen this type of can holder's before haven't you?
Well some markets around town use larger ones. It is good because they can have many more can's on the shelves at one time...
But did you know that if a can get's the tinyest bit turned it will gum up the whole works?
It's true. 
 And just such a thing happened last night as I was counting out 10 can's of soup I was transfering to my shopping cart. About half way through, a can got a little off kelter and so I bent over to scope it out.
Saw it was just a little off and so I reached in to tap the can back into the right position. No sooner had I done that than the can's above all followed suit and started to roll quickly and heavily into postion.
The only problem was...
my thumb got stuck!
It was being pinched between the can and the shelf,
and I can tell you the can and the shelf were not giving an inch!
I started to pull at my stuck thumb thinking many things simutainiouly...

It's going to cut it off,
I can't reach the can's to push them back up,
I hope no one see's this predickament I've gotten myself into,
If I can't get out should I scream?
what if it bleeds!?

Just then I got my hand turned enought to push all the can's enough to releave the pressure and get my thumb out. No one saw. I wan't bleeding, I got the rest of my shopping done and headed to the check stand.
 When asked cheerfully how I was I ...
smiled and said fine thank you.

Came home and told Honey my tail of woe.
He looked at it and said it will be a little sore but would be fine.
Kissed it better for me.

We both laughed about the times we do things and look around to be sure no one is looking.
Saying, "Woe is me!"
And how much it really helps when someone
kisses us better.

Smile and remember;
We're fool's whether we dance or not. So we might as well dance.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Poppy's Helper

Poppy came home early to get some things done in the yard...
while the weather was good-
He invited us to come out and keep him company.
Enticing me with the fact that it was
"pretty warm out".

We rounded up a couple of horses
heading out to play
and for Tiny Dancer to hone her forman skills.

There is no doubt it would have been easier to do it himself
but it wouldn't have been nearly as much fun
for any of us!

Once the work got a little boaring we headed for the
shaded snowbank to ice skate,
the trees to check out the beginings of buds,
to run and run,
and best of all
to swing!

And just like Spring Time in Alaska,
an hour later
it was raining cats and dogs
quickly turning to snow gently blanketing the ground.

Smile and remember;
We're fool's whether we dance or not. So we might as well dance.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Yellow Wall

I spend a lot of time in the office
sewing room
play room.

Its the warmest room in Winter,
The coolest room in Summer,
the cozyest for conversation and relaxing.

Only one thing off about it.

The plain white walls...

Giving it a sort of...vanilla feel.
It had a bad case of the blah's!
So I thought I'd give it lift...
Some Pazazz!
You know...
Butter it up.

Yellow is a nice color.
-not a favorite-
In take-it-or-leave-it situations...
it is usually left.

It was the obvious choice.

I went to work preping the wall and gathered
1quart each of two colors of yellow,
2-3 inch rollers, 2-3 inch sponge brushes & other painting necessities...

Woke up early and got all dolled up
in my "painting garb" and went to work...




It turned out beter than I hoped and as good as I imagined...
Yes, I've got a few 'things' I want to make to decorate the room...

But for now,
Please excuse me
while I go bask in the abiance of a happy room...


Smile and remember;
We're fool's whether we dance or not. So we might as well dance.