Monday, July 28, 2008

Last Block of Jewels on Black RR

I just completed the last block of our Jewels on Black DYB round robin for Crazy Quilting International. This one is for Debbie, and she requested seam treatments only and said she loves the encrusted look. So, that meant (to me) that many-layered seams were the order of the day. And this is how it turned out. I hope you like it, Debbie. It'll be winging its way home to you this week.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sale-ing, Sale-ing..... a Great Haul

One of my favorite things to do in the summer season is to venture out on occasional Saturday mornings and go sale-ing. Yard sales. Estate sales. Oooooh.... I get excited just thinking about the thrill of the hunt! Armed with nothing more than 2 rolls of quarters that I'd saved (that's $40), I set out at 9:00 a.m.

First stop was an estate sale here in Murray which was being run by the family (not an estate dealer). I picked up a potting bench, a Dymo labeler (working, in box with refill label tapes) and a brand-new (packaging still on) heavy-duty wok. Six dollars total. Then I headed up to the Avenues area of Salt Lake City. This is an older area north of downtown, and it's a highly desirable area to live in. Old homes, mature neighborhoods on steep, narrow streets. Always good pickin's for treasures and I just was feeling good vibes today!

The estate sale started at 10:00 a.m. and I was the first one in the door. Quick scope of the living room showed no vintage paperweights and a scope of the kitchen showed no cookie jars (both of which I collect). .But there in the bedroom.......BINGO!! Linens. Hankies. Vintage Clothing. Lace.
OMG. So, let me share some of my finds!

First up (above) is the Christmas stuff I snagged. The green piece is silk, all the pom-pom trim is vintage (and highly resellable - is that a word? - on Ebay. If I don't use it myself), and the two ornaments (the Santa and reindeer) are vintage. I love Santas (particularly Father Christmases) and really love reindeer! The flannel in back is probably only 10-20 years old, but there was a lot of it and it was clean, so I grabbed it for next to nothing.

Above is a daisy doily which needs a serious soak. If it doesn't come clean (and maybe even if it does), I may raid it for the motifs. The black lace is a vintage scrap, and the needlepoint (I think) peacock was too cute to pass up. I'm going to frame it and hang it in my studio - I need color on the white walls!!

I also grabbed these two aprons, probably from the Fifties or Sixties. A mother and daughter set. The smaller one has feather stitching on the waistband. The pocket of Mom's has been mended. I collect vintage aprons and sew and sell reproduction aprons. This patchwork on point really intrigues me!

Above is a scarf that reminded me of the Turkish scarves that the women embellish with needlelace oyas. This is NOT a fine scarf, nor is the trim fine and stiff like the oya flowers, but I do believe it is needlelace. The trim colors are rather wonky against the scarf, but this would make such a fun, bohemian-style wrap. As if I'd ever wear it...... ;-)

This is a lovely group of goodies. I got two pairs of vintage baby booties - one with blue trim and one with pink trim. I passed up several vintage christening sets. The loveliest dress was badly stained and the other stuff was very simple and overpriced. I did pick up all the interesting cutter linens I could, as I like to use those in pillows, tea-towels, aprons and other creations. (I'll probably post some pictures of that in August). But I digress......

See the fan above?? It is very delicate wood, carved into a rose pattern. It was the single most expensive purchase of the day. I bought it specifically for my CQI group Secret Sister. Now, if she reads this blog, I'm giving myself away. But hopefully she either doesn't or will forget......... I won't send it for a few months, hehehehe.

The lady of the house had a collection of hand mirrors. I picked up this circa-Fifties plastic mirror. Isn't it cute?!? She was also a collector of Japanese things (the fan is Japanese). There were two kimono (badly stained and only one was silk), lots of Japanese house shoes (those white things with two toes), wall hangings, yadda yadda, but nothing really, uh, NICE.

And look at those two cute hats!! Got those at the last yard sale I hit for $1 each!! One is actually more of a tiara. The hankie to the right of the two pink doilies is silk. Check out the vintage lace!!!!!!!!!!

And last but not least - the rest of the hankies. The mostly cream-colored one on the right is silk. The embroidered figural hankie is badly stained, but the embroidery is clean and intact, so it can go into a project. I love collecting the monogrammed hankies. I have lots of "H" hankies, a majority of which came from my late mom, Helen. Those I'll keep, but who knows what I'll eventually use this one for..........

There were a couple other things I nabbed as well today that I didn't take pictures of, but all in all it sure was a good haul!!! Now I've got to get back to saving my quarters so I can go out again before the Sale-ing Season ends!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Good CQ Reading

The latest issue of CQMagOnline is out! It's always a wealth of great ideas and eye candy, and this issue is no exception. Of course, I'm particularly excited because I have an article in it. I wrote a how-to article on making caddies (or carriers) for storing hot curling irons when you travel. The curling iron caddy I pieced is highly functional if not too lovely (I was more interested in using colors that would photograph well!). The article actually shows several that I've completed.

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Block Finished for Susan

Today I finished a Jewels on Black-themed block for Susan. This is a 6-inch block for our round robin on Crazy Quilting International, a Yahoo group.
Those are Turkish needlelace oyas on the left, vintage tatting around the silk pictures and vintage lace under the button grouping. Following are all four blocks (to date) shown together.

They were stitched by (L-R, top to bottom): Hideko , Jo , myself and Clairee. Lovely grouping, isn't it??

Sunday, July 20, 2008

And the Winner is....

Karrin Hurd!!!!!!!!!!!!! My DH just drew your name as the winner in my Pay it Forward contest. Will you please contact me by private email and let me know your address and what you like???? Congratulations!!! I hope that you, too, will be inspired to pay a kind deed forward in some way!! Hugs to all - Cathy

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Crazily Cream Round Robin

I've joined another round robin on Crazy Quilting International called Crazily Cream. The five participants have all created their blocks and will be mailing them around for others to work on them. All stitching and embellishments will also be in the cream colorway. When completed, this look is very elegant (and fits into just about any decor!). Here is my block, naked:

Also, I just wanted to remind everyone that tomorrow we'll draw the winner's name on my Pay it Forward drawing. See the post from a couple days ago about the goodies sent to me by Lilla LeVine. If you leave a comment on that post, I'll enter your name into a drawing. Tomorrow (Sunday) around noon, I'll have DH draw a name from those who left comments. The winner will receive a small gifty from me (but whatever it is - and I reserve the right to tailor it to the recipient - I promise it'll be *nice*).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Secret Sister ROCKS !!!

In Crazy Quilting International (Yahoo group), we have assigned Secret Sisters this year. My SS, who is unknown to me (but identities will be revealed at the end of the year), has been such a great friend. Beyond the obvious generosity and forethought she's given to everything - her gifts and her words alike, there is an uncanny sense of timing. Her packages and notes always seem to arrive when I'm feeling emotionally "needy". They never fail to either (1) rev up my spirits or (2) bring me to tears of joy (and THEN rev up my spirits!).

So, whoever you are, dear one, you are VERY much appreciated. And you know, I'd love for you to write me some time - just write - and tell me something about you. Something that wouldn't reveal your identity, but would help me to get to know YOU better. Or maybe some obscure clues that I can begin putting together for the Grand Revelation.

The picture shows what my dear SS has sent to me just in the last two months. In June, she sent the rolls of vintage rayon ribbons. OMG. I'd been looking *everywhere* for that stuff to include as fringing on some purses. I've so far just fondled it a lot (I know you all understand....), but I feel a Creative Weekend coming on, LOL. The two books arrived today. I had neither and LOVE both. I've got another of Helan Pearce's books, and didn't even know about this one. What eye candy!! And the scents - they are so DO-able; I can't wait to read and study this book in more detail!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I'll leave you with a picture of Boomer that I snapped tonight. He's sitting on my ironing board, facing me as I was sitting in the armchair in my studio, stitching. Very obviously, he's thinking, "Gee Mom, I was hoping to get some attention from you tonight...."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dried Bouquet, Christening Gown & Victoriana

Being empty nesters, DH & I have four extra bedrooms...... and two of those are made up as guest rooms. One is very feminine and Victorian; the other is very masculine and African-themed (the other two bedrooms downstairs are our office and part of my studio). In the feminine room (or the frou-frou room as DH calls it), I have my wedding bouquet dried and hanging from a shelf peg.

The christening gown, cap and booties were from my christening, more than 50 years ago. (HOLY MOLEY!!!!!!!!!! When did I get old?) I just thought these made a cute vignette, and because of celebrating our 5th anniversary last weekend, I had been thinking of the bouquet. The teapot on the top right was painted by a friend of mine back in California before I had kids.

Random thought: must paint that shelf white and distress it up a bit.......

The round ball on the little lace-covered stand is a potichomania ball (reproduction). These were made in Victorian times by middle-class women to imitate fine porcelain. Basically, they used paper scrap and stickers and reverse-decoupaged them into glass balls. Then the glass was painted white. I was actually "into" this for awhile back in the early nineties (1990's, not 1890's - I'm not *that* old, LOL). Maybe I ought to revive it ?!?!? Yeah right, like in my "spare" time, hehehe.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sweet Gift and Pay it Forward Contest

Last week the incomparable Lilla LeVine wrote to me after I had left a comment on her blog. It seems she must have a fondness for CQ'ers (well, who doesn't, LOL?!?) and said she had something to send me. ME?!?!? Long story short, some wonderful goodies arrived on the weekend, and they are sooooooo signature Lilla. Aren't they just darling?!? The ribbon and trim (which I can use in a current CQ project!) is hand dyed. The vintage picture, as I told Lilla, is my new "old family". It's a wonderful picture that will be great printed onto silk and embellished. And finally, a gift tag that she made. I absolutely adore it, and it has inspired me to try a tag (which had never really "rung my bells" before I saw and held hers). Thanks again, Lilla!! I was one of your biggest fans before, now I want to be President of your Fan Club!!!

So the dilemma is - how can I pay her back? After deliberating over this for a couple days, I've decided that there's probably little or nothing of my stash that would be worthy!! LOL. I cannot really ever pay her back.......... but I can Pay it Forward. And that's what I'm going to do!

I'm going to do a little giveaway for my readers. Now, the good news is that I'm a new blogger and certainly not in the ranks of the Most Notable. That means I probably have a rather limited readership, which makes your chances of winning even greater!!! :-) Winning what, you ask?? Gee, I haven't figured that out yet. Let's say...... a really nice squishie of fabric, vintage lace, a silk print or two..... and whatever other goodies I can come up with. Nothing to stop the press over, but definitely worth your time, OK??? Just leave a comment ON THIS POST and I'll draw a name on Sunday the 20th.

Oh, one more note. Because of some really weird spam comments I began getting, I've gone to moderator-approved comments. I hate to do that, but I don't know how else to filter out the garbage (as I said, I'm new at this, so any hints or ideas are welcomed!) But just leave a comment and it'll get on!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Saturday in ...... OGDEN ?!?!?

Well, it's not Paris, but it's do-able on our budget, both financially and time-wise. Saturday was our 5th anniversary (Bruce and I) and we combined a couple little errands into an enjoyable 4-hour trip to Ogden, a city about an hour north of Salt Lake. Ogden has an historic area that is undergoing a revitalization. Shops are moving back into the old part of town; the new FrontRunner commuter train runs between Salt Lake and Ogden, the old Union Pacific depot has been renovated and has a museum inside...... and there are interesting shops, galleries, people and horses everywhere.

Yes, horses. These are obviously not REAL horses, but statues that have been sponsored by various businesses, who then commission an artist to paint them......... in any number of bizarre or delightful ways........... So, let's start with some of these wacky, colorful horses!

This next one is a harlequin! Notice the "jewels" on the shoes and in the tail!

This next one just looks like a roan, but can you tell what the red part represents? (Hint: it's the shape of a certain country).
And speaking of that certain country, here is a patriotic horse:

Our first order of business was to visit the stage in the small Farmer's Market where Bruce's banjo teacher was performing with his wife and daughter (see previous post).

Their set was about 90 minutes, and since the day was warm and we had good seats in the dappled shade, we stayed for the whole thing. I had my sketchbook and managed a respectable rendering of the tree......

Then we strolled around the park. There was a display of vintage tractors.

And GUNSHOTS!!!!! What?!?!? Turns out it was a re-enactment of an old-time stagecoach robbery. Here the "bandits" approach the "travelers" in the coach.

And the travelers are forced to get out and turn over their valuables to the bandits:

But luckily, the sheriff and his posse come to the rescue, and after a (loud, obnoxious) shoot-em-up, they get the bad guys rounded up and save the day!!!!!! Was there ever any doubt, LOL???
We ate lunch at a cute sidewalk pub called Rooster's. Beyond the red gate at the right is a tree-lined courtyard where we dined alfresco.

After that, I stopped in at Needlepoint Joint, which was right next door! DH came with me and had a good time talking with the ladies in the shop while I gathered up my "necessities" (see last post). He didn't even cringe when they totaled it up! Is he a gem, or what?? Here is Roosters and Needlepoint Joint from across the street:

From there we walked several blocks west to the old Union Station train depot. It has been beautifully restored inside and out.

Another horse in the front courtyard depicts the driving of the Golden Spike. In hammering in the final "golden" spike (in an official ceremony in May of 1869), the first transcontinental railroad was formed by joining railroad lines from the east and west. The actual site is Promontory Point, about an hour NW of Ogden. Note that the horse's legs are tree limbs. Pretty clever!

This is the inside of the old depot.

Then we walked another block and visited the new depot, home of the FrontRunner commuter train. Nice, but it just doesn't have the same ambience of the old station, does it??

What a fun day! Good company, good music, fresh air and exercise, good food..... and more stash!!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

This and That

Wow, the last few days have been a whirlwind!! I was very busy stitching on Thursday and Friday, and then we had a fun-filled weekend. And for the most part I had the camera along, so I've got a few things to share over the next couple days!

But first, DH & I celebrated our 5th anniversary on Saturday. We took a trip up to Ogden, UT (about an hour north of us) to visit their Farmer's Market and Western Days celebrations. Bruce (DH) takes banjo lesson from Mike Iverson, relatively well-known in these parts. Mike was playing at the festivities, so we wanted to see him. Also, there is the greatest needlework shop in Ogden called The Needlepoint Joint . Naturally, I had to visit while we were in town. I'll blog our entire visit separately, but here are the "stash enhancements" I purchased.

I will be starting on a Cream on Cream round robin this week, as well as a piecing a white on white block for Leslie's breast cancer project, hence the emphasis on white and ivory. And then greens never to to waste..... and sometimes there are just things you can't resist...... ;-)

On Friday I finished up a sundress for my soon-to-be step-granddaughter Lauren (my son's fiance's daughter) and a Jedi cape for her brother Easton. I didn't get a picture (drat!) of the cape, but here is the simple little sundress for Lauren.

Finally, we went out this weekend and bought a CD of Duffy, recommended by my daughter Megan (age 22). After listening to clips on YouTube, we were blown away. Her voice has been compared to Dusty Springfield, Lulu, and others of the sixties-era English singers. Her style is retro, bluesy with an almost-Motown feel. Check her out!

Tomorrow I'll blog our interesting trip on Saturday to Ogden..... and some other things to share. Happy stitching!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Jewels on Black Block for Hideko

Today I was really in a stitching mood and did this block for Hideko as part of our Crazy Quilting International Jewels on Black Round Robin. Hideko had pieced the blocks in black and gray and requested that we use primarily black, silver and gold stitching, with some red accents.

I had never worked with just these colors before and thought it would be difficult, but the ideas kept coming and before I knew it, I was out of room. It was so much fun and a good stretch for me (since I really love warm, bright, rich colors). I hope I showed enough restraint and that Hideko likes it!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy 4th of July

Wherever you are, may your 4th of July (Independence Day in the US) be happy, safe, and spent with friends and loved ones.

Another Fabulous Fan Block

Today I finally finished my block for Cobi in our Fabulous Fans DYB Round Robin. I absolutely loved her colors as they really speak to me - I love working with rich, warm palettes. But for some reason my brain, such as it is, has had creative block and I struggled with this. When you see the other incredible blocks that came before mine, you'll see why. So, here is the block I completed.

And here are all four blocks pinned together so you can get an idea of how they look as a grouping. Cobi had them pre-numbered, so this is how they fit together so far by number. The top left one was done by Leslie, top right is mine, bottom left was done by Jo, and the bottom right one by Bonnie W.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Garden Pictures

I have been so crazily busy this last week that I've barely had time to think of blogging. And I haven't had enough time to be out in the garden to really enjoy it (does deadheading roses for an hour on Saturday count?). Bruce and I do spend an hour or two on the patio in the evening reading, but we have to come in by 8:30 when it gets dark, because I've never strung the fairy lights this year..... Here is part of our patio, with the backdrop of the grape arbor. In the evening (this picture was taken late morning) they are a great shield from the setting west sun.
And our climbing roses are blooming, and they're so beautiful to look at. We'll be adding some wirework to the walls in order to give the climbers more room to spread out horizontally. Sort of an espalier treatment. This is the clematis along the same wall. It's still pretty young, but I love it even if it is a modest show...... On the east side yard, our dragon is nearly engulfed with growth ...... a bit more lush than it was here I love this corner of the house; that's a dwarf Japanese maple, an Asiatic lily and various other flowers in the bed and ledge planter. Don't you love that cute sun ornament?? And the next two pictures are our front rose trees with their surrounding floral friends. The first rose tree is a Double Delight; the second one (red) is Mr. Lincoln. I'll have some stitching pictures before the end of the week; I'm almost done with a round robin block for my friend Cobi. We're in a fan-themed round robin..... and I'm behind. Sorry, Cobi! It'll be on its way soon!