Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Little Aprons

As I was reading some of my favorite blogs yesterday, I saw a little pink and white apron posted by Linda at Fiber Fabrications that reminded me of one I have in my collection. So, I had to go hunt it down, and sure enough they are very similar. And then I thought I'd share a couple more with you.

But first I want to highly recommend Linda's blog. I've been reading it for about six months, and I love her writing style and sense of humor. She and her DH own an alpaca farm in Nooksack, Washington. They raise and breed the alpacas, and I've learned so much about these dear creatures. In fact, I plan to visit an alpaca farm on my visit to Colorado next month. But I digress..... Linda not only has the alpacas sheered annually, but has the fibers cleaned so she can then card, spin and dye them into wonderful yarns. Or she uses them for her felting projects. The link above will take you to her family reunion post that shows the apron, but DO check out her two more recent posts as well. They are in the midst of the county fair there, and Linda has shared some wonderful pictures of exhibied quilts - including two crazies. And not surprisingly, her felted pieces and fibers won ribbons. Fiber Fabrications is always a good read!

And now, here are the aprons.

This first one is similar to Linda's, but has a crocheted heart pocket. The pattern is slightly different, but you can see why I did a double take. I bought it on Ebay last year.


This one belonged to my mother. It was crocheted in a child size for her by her maternal grandmother. I remember Oma as a small child, and am lucky to have all her wonderful crocheted doilies, tablecloths, and assorted other heirlooms.

This red one was in the family collection, along with some other red & black pieces befitting our Hungarian heritage. However, this one has a German couple in dirndl and lederhosen pictured rather than a Hungarian couple in traditional white, red and green costume. While most of our family emigrated from Hungary, there were some Germany-born relatives here and there....

Well, must go hang the laundry. Wouldn't you know; we're getting the laundry room tiled on Friday and Saturday, and the dryer's heating element went out last night. Hard to dry jeans on "air fluff/no heat", LOL. The contractor is also a handyman, so he said he'd look at the element after he pulls it out of the laundry room to tile. Gotta love a man who volunteers to fix something!
Cathy
Monday, August 17, 2009

A London Shower

Whew - we made it! The baby shower for Miss London Elizabeth Flox, our soon-to-be-born granddaughter was yesterday. And it turned out really nice. But the prep and the clean-up (even with the help of my dear "hubster") was killer.......

The cupcakes were baked the day before and frosted on Sunday morning (before mopping the kitchen floor, which was a stroke of genius, even if I do say so myself....) After frosting the two pink "booties" (three cupcakes arranged in an L, then frosted), I realized I'd have to use a truckload of frosting to get them all done that way. It was not going to happen.


I arranged the two frosted booties with the "L" and some butterflies-on-a-stick . And except for one other bootie in white, the rest were just given a plain ol' swirl treatment.

I also made tissue paper flowers, some of which are pictured on the table. The strawberries were supposed to be dipped in white chocolate, but that didn't happen either. There's a story.

I had intended to make edible pacifiers (binkies). So, I'd bought white chocolate chips to melt over vanilla wafers. While the chocolate is still soft, you stick a white Life Saver standing up on the curved side of the wafer. Then you cut a jelly bean in half and stick it on the flat side as the "nipple" of the binky. So, two things were depending on this melted white chocolate; the strawberries and the binkies. But the damn chocolate wouldn't melt. Or should I say "chocolate", for I doubt if it was real (no, I never did read the ingredient list....). Tried melting it in a double boiler over the stove. They did loosen up a bit, but just stuck together as big lumps. Tried some of it in the microwave on "defrost" and IT WOULD NOT MELT. It did finally scorch, however. Into the trash it went.

So the vanilla wafers were served plain. I don't know why I even bothered; there were enough sweets with the cupcakes to give the whole state a sugar high for a week....

The punchbowl contained fresh-squeezed lemonade with strawberries and floating rubber duckies. Some of the guests added tequila to theirs and reported it was delicious. I didn't try *that*!!

Here is DDIL, Heather. As you can tell, she's about to pop. This was a co-ed shower, and about 25 people attended. Somehow, we managed to squeeze everyone into our small living room for the opening of the gifts.

Heather is opening a gift (above), assisted by Daddy Shane (my son). Actually, it looks like he's "assisting" himself to a coke, instead. Or is that beer? To Shane's left is my daughter Megan, who kept track of the gifts and givers. Sitting next to Meg is Ron (her hubby, not pictured). And sitting next to him, also DEFINITELY not pictured is my ex-husband Scott and his wife Cally. That was an interesting situation, I can tell you. But we all behaved. :-)

The kids were lucky and got a lot of necessities and the last of the bigger things that they needed for the baby. Just some last-minute set-up and laundry, and the nursery will be ready to go!

The banner again, above. Shane hung it between the living room and the dining room.

After the gift opening, we served dinner, which consisted of a variety of deli meats and cheeses and breads. There was also a veggie tray and potato salad. And the strawberries and cupcakes, of course. Everyone spread out to the patio to chat and eat, and the weather was perfect (high seventies). It was a pleasant time, even if grandma here was stressed out!


The guest favors were small bottles filled with jelly beans and tied with ribbons. Everyone seemed to have a good time (except my ex, who can't seem to find the facial muscles necessary to crack a smile), and Bruce and I finally have the house back in order!

Now, the waiting begins for London to make her appearance. Maybe I should've had mommy Heather help us move the furniture around! LOL.

Hugs,

Cathy
Saturday, August 15, 2009

Getting Ready for the Baby Shower

Today has been such a fun, busy day. Bruce & I have been getting ready for the (co-ed) baby shower for my soon-to-be-born granddaughter, London. I've been doing a lot of shopping and prep work this week, and did manage to get some sewing time in, although not as much as I'd have liked. This is what I've got to show for my efforts so far:

It's a double-sided flannel receiving blanket for London. Mom Heather (my DDIL) loves butterflies and dragonflies. And then I did a bunch of burp rags (oops, that's the receiving blanket on the bottom of the pile):

I guess next week will be soon enough for the bibs and a real baby quilt. :-) London is not due until September 2, and Heather hasn't "dropped" yet, so I think we've got a few more days!

Today Bruce and I cleaned up the Library, which is a bedroom that's been converted to hold our books. Plus there's a futon in there for overnight guests. It's a rather masculine room, so it's the "boy's guest room". We have a frou-frou guest room, too, which is all girly and Victorian and....... well, I'll share pictures sometime. Actually, I tried to take pictures of the Library tonight, but they did not turn out. I'll try again sometime during the day.

Our baby shower preparations included mostly housework, but also some errand-running. I baked all the cupcakes and they're ready to be frosted and assembled into baby booties tomorrow. I weeded the front entryway flower beds and put out more yard decorations. Even hosed down the front entry to remove the cobwebs (those "cobs" are as bad as spiders at making webs!!) LOL

We still have to clean up the patio (it's forecast to be a PERFECT day in the high 70's) and I have to do the kitchen floor. In the morning I'll run to Costco and get the food trays. All the "help" is coming at 1:00 and the shower begins at 4:00.

And finally, I wanted to share a picture of our finished "new" hall closet. We've had a contractor in for a couple weeks working on things (like that wall in my studio) and expanding one of our hall closets was one item.


Now it is large enough to house not only all the coats, but our vacuum cleaner and a couple laundry baskets..... and you can actually step INTO it! Makes great use of formerly-wasted empty hall space. Nothing for YOU to get excited about, really, but believe me, I'm thrilled! :-)


Next week while the contractor begins tiling my laundry room floor, I'm going to repaint the master bedroom. Must remember to take some "before" photos.

So that's it for now. Dear Bruce is Designated Photographer for the shower tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have some fun pictures to share in a couple days.
Cathy
Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Banner for London

For London? you ask.... Yes. But not the English city of London. It's for my soon-to-be-born granddaughter (first biological grandchild) who is due September 2. The daddy-to-be is my son, Shane, and mommy is Heather, who is looking like she'll pop any day now, (although being so young, lovely, and otherwise thin, you can't even tell she's pregnant from the back!). Both Heather and Shane say that London has been appearing in their dreams a lot lately! By the way, her full name will be London Elizabeth Flox.

On Sunday, August 16, we'll be having the baby shower here for family and extended family of both sides. The friends' baby shower was last month. Today I want to show you the banner I made for the shower. It'll go over her crib after the shower.


The colors of the shower are pink and green, as is London's nursery. I made it out of felt and tied it onto ribbon with satin ribbon. The lettering is done in reverse colors. The pink felt was so thin that I had to double it for the flags and letters. Therefore, the pink flag pieces were overstitched together with green floss.

On Sunday, we (my daughter Megan, Heather, Heather's mom Laura and sister Kaitlyn, and me) are gathering at our place about three hours before the 4:00 shower to get everything ready. We have all the games (she wanted them......), and prizes ready. The menu is planned - meat & cheese trays, veggie trays & breads. I'll make a fruit salad and Laura is making a potato salad. The cake is going to be cupcakes made into baby booties. :-) The party favors are tiny baby bottles filled with jelly beans. We'll have "pacifiers" made from Oreos. The punch will be pink lemonade with pink & green rubber duckies floating in it, and we'll have lots of pink tissue paper flowers around. The tablecloth, paper plates & cups, etc. all coordinate in pink & green (and butterflies), and I'll whip out my china and silver as necessary for food and displaying the cupcakes. I just don't want to be stuck in the kitchen during the whole thing, so I'm going with pre-made party trays and disposable plates & tableware (against my regular "green" views!)

And I'm in baby Stitching Mode. Trying to whip out a few bibs, burp rags and receiving blankets in the next couple days. These are not only for London, but for a co-worker who had a baby a couple months ago (I did give her a gift at the time, but would like to add a bit more), and for my DGS Hunter who is 4 months old. He spits up a lot and could sure use more bibs and burp rags.

More pictures of the shower later. Must go sew.

Hugs,

Cathy
Saturday, August 8, 2009

LACE WINNERS

Thank you to everyone who entered the drawing for one of the two identical lace packets that I am giving away. I had 34 valid entries, and without further ado, the lucky winners are:

KAREN SOUTH
and

MADDIE CAN FLY

Congratulations, Ladies! I'll be contacting you personally so you'll know for sure! I'll get these packages in the mail on Tuesday (I always try to avoid the post offices here on Monday as I HATE lines!!).

Again, thanks everyone for entering. I plan to do giveaways on a regular basis; I love sharing my stuff. My next big plan is the unveiling of my studio. Nothing really major except that without all the other stuff, the former basement family room is ALL MINE, along with the adjoining bedroom. And the walls are finished, LOL!!

Hugs,

Cathy

Pincushion from Jo

In spring we had a purse contest on Crazy Quilting International. In addition to the actual purse competition (in which I won second place for my purse here), we always have a guessing game to see who can study the purses and guess the correct maker. Well, I happened to win the guessing game. The prize was one of Jo Newsham's incredible pincushions, which she sells in her Etsy shop here. It came all the way from New Zealand and arrived this week.


Jo uses the most unusual items for bases. I believe this is a silverplate goblet turned on its head.

And of course, Jo's stitching is always scrumptious - she does the best, most beautiful and even seams! I just love this pincushion, which is much too pretty to actually USE !! So it will sit on one of my display areas in the studio I'm in the process of rearranging. Below is a good side view.


In the background is my stitching chair, which is going to be moved when the contractors are done with their work. See the ironing board on the right? It will be set up permanently open once the chair moves. I HAVE to have that handy, and find I do a lot of my piecing work standing at it. Does anyone else use their ironing board for things other than ironing?? Anyway, the cover I had was so worn and ugly (not that this is the world's prettiest, but it is about 1000% better, LOL), I was looking for a new one. This morning DH & I went to a giant "Yard Sale" held as a fundraiser by Murray High School. It was huge. I only found three or four little things, but one of them was this Sunbeam ironing board cover (new) for 50 cents. Woo-hoo!!

Well, I'm off to go do the drawing thing. I'll be posting the lace winners names shortly.

Hugs,
Cathy
Monday, August 3, 2009

Flower Fairy - Tansy

In the Flower Fairy round robin I'm in for Crazy Quilting International, I have just finished up a block for Karrin H. In this RR, we get to select one of six fairy blocks she pieced, then stitch and embellish it for her. Because the Tansy Fairy was one of my favorite fairies, and one that I included in the blocks I pieced, I just had to select this one. Such possibilities! Such happy colors!




So........... I stitched her garden area for her



And of course, while I labored about stitching on the block, she finished another coat!



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Don't forget to enter my Lace Giveaway to win one of two lace prizes. See yesterday's post for details and pictures. Remember - you must comment on THAT post to be entered, OK??
Hugs,

Cathy
Sunday, August 2, 2009

Time for that Lace Giveaway

It's time now to get crackin' on the lace giveaway I promised. Yesterday I made up two identical lace groupings for this giveaway. The deal was that since The Lace Fairy has blessed me with so much good fortune of late, I must "pay it forward" to show her I'm worthy of it. LOL.
So, this is how it will work. Today is Sunday, August 2. Leave a comment on THIS POST and you will be entered into the drawing. One post per person (well, you can post a dozen times if you want, but you'll only be entered once, ok?) and ONLY on this post. Let's have it run until, say, Friday the 7th (midnight, MDT). I'll draw the names sometime on Saturday and announce them then.

By the way, make sure you include your email address in your comment so I can contact you. Every time I have a drawing, there are several ladies that are disqualified because they've not given me any contact information. Yes, I will make a general announcement of who the winner is, but I will not rely on that to contact the winners. :-) Thanks.

Finally for today, my studio is a mess. The contractor has just finished replacing the wall that was damaged in our flood in August, then again in February. Here's what one small corner looks like.

But, we've gotten rid of the treadmill (the one I used for a clothes hanger and nothing else) (well.... I DO attend Curves, ya know!) and now we'll be rearranging everything to give me more room. I'll be blogging about that, too, I'm sure.

Meantime, I'd love for you to win some lace!
Cathy