Friday, May 29, 2009

Wonderful Giveaway

One of my favorite blogs, Cynthia's Cottage Design, is giving away a beautiful prize package for her one year anniversary. I've been reading this blog for months, and just love her styles, colors and ideas. She makes some of the cutest signs and wall hangings, and her vintage linens and decorating style have been an inspiration to me in my sewing (aprons and repurposed linens). As well, we drool over a lot of her pictures at Wheeler Farm, and are thinking of emulating her style in our country store.

Happy Anniversary, Cynthia!

Check out her delightful, cheery blog.

I've been finishing up a purse for entry into Crazy Quilting International's annual purse contest. The entries are posted (anonymously) for the membership to vote on, and the winners get cash prizes. Last year, my purse (here) won first prize. Obviously, I cannot post this year's entry yet, but I will once the voting concludes.

This year, our flowers (roses, irises) have been gorgeous. But I haven't taken any pictures. Today was an employee party at Wheeler Farm, and I made farm animal-themed cupcakes (pigs, cows, sheep and chicks). But I didn't take pictures. What's wrong with my brain?!? I'm hoping I can snag a picture from someone else of these silly but cute cupcakes. And I'll get my camera out this weekend when I'm out in the yard.



Sunday, May 17, 2009

May Day Celebration

Yesterday (May 16) we had a great May Day Festival at Wheeler Farm. In conjunction with a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis, we had over 100 vendor/crafter booths, bounce houses, sheep shearing, a May Queen and Maypole, plus the regular farm attractions of wagon rides, pony rides and visiting the animals. Several thousand people attended and the weather was PERFECT. It was in the mid-seventies, a very blue sky with a few wispy high clouds, a slight breeze, and the fresh greens of newly-emerged leaves and grasses. Truly, it was heavenly!!

So, here are some of the pictures I snapped, in no particular order. I missed so many things, but vow I will get pictures of some of the other areas (including the historic Farmhouse) during the summer season...

Bounce Houses (above, on the Central Lawn) and free entertainment (below in south amphitheater area) always draw large crowds. We try to tailor our promotional events to appeal to the entire family.

There was also entertainment in the Activity Barn, but I didn't get pictures of that. Below are some of the vendor booths (artists, crafters, food, small businesses, etc) on the South Lawn. To the west of this area (on the West Lawn, not pictured) were additional booths and entertainment for the benefit of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

I finally remembered, late in the day, to snap a picture of the Maypole! Below I caught a family dancing around it....
Below is Debi, our May Queen. She was our Summer Camp Director last year, and is a gentle soul and real Earth Mother. She had glitter on her face and wings. Her enchanting woodland outfit and fan, along with the glitter and her soft voice, mesmerized the little girls.

And then at the other end of the spectrum, were hard-working, wacky and fun-loving Shari (our boss, with her tongue out!) and Erin, the Event Coordinator (she does an amazing job!). Erin is driving a "mule". We have several of these that we use (mostly the farmers, but during events they're used by coordinators) around the 78-acre farm.

Below is the idyllic Little Cottonwood Creek. It's beautiful, but deceivingly so - the swift water can be treacherous. Can you see the geese in the lower right (click on any picture to enlarge).

Two calves (heifers) born this spring are (in back) Betsy, whose mother is a Holstein and father was a Black Angus and Gabby (foreground), a lovely Jersey. We also welcomed twins Pete & Re-Pete and another heifer whose name I can't remember!

Below is the Summer House.

And here (below) is the Ice House and the North Lawn. This is where we hold our Summer Camp for kids ages 6-12. I loved being a Camp Counselor last year, but am now the bookkeeper. This Ice House was built in the 1970's to replicate the former (destroyed) Ice House.

The Wheelers harvested ice from their two man-made ponds and stored the ice in the Ice House, layered with straw and sawdust. They sold the 1' cubic blocks of ice for 10c along with their milk and eggs to families for use in their "ice boxes". Their business was the Rosebud Dairy, and our country store on the premises was named The Rosebud Store after the Wheeler's business. Below is the back of the Ice House and one of the duck ponds.

And speaking of ducks, they sure had a lot to say about all the visitors! They loved getting so much cracked corn and wheat that we sell to the public for 50c per bag.

The geese, on the other hand, would much rather just head to the water, or just AWAY in general. LOL. Here is a family, complete with young little goslings.

One of the most fun things (for me, anyway, although there were LOTS of spectators) was the sheep shearing. We brought in a gentleman and his wife (originally from Ireland) who are lifelong shepherds, and they did demonstrations all day. In the end, they sheared 11 sheep for us (a small number, comparatively, but the purpose was to educate).

Below, one of our farmers, Brad, takes a lamb and moves it to another pen away from those (adults) that will be sheared.

And here are the Kings, the shepherds, shearing. She explained while he did the actual shearing. The sheep is NOT hurt here, LOL, just laying cooperatively. He demonstrated how he holds the sheep to safely shear them (not pictured). There was not one cut or nick to the sheep he sheared. It was as though they just meekly submitted to him!

Below is some of the wool, right off the sheep. This activity took place in our Milking Parlor, where the docents (tour guides) talk to kids about milking the cows.

Below is Jennifer, who has been at the Farm over 25 years. She is demonstrating spinning wool for the visitors. Although there is freshly-cut wool next to her, she is NOT spinning that. It first needs to be washed to remove all the dirt (grass, twigs, fecal matter) as well as the lanolin and wax that are naturally present - and then carded.

And that wraps up our visit. Today, Sunday, I'm exhausted. I slept 10 hours last night and took a 2-hour nap today. I'm hoping to get a bit of stitching in soon, but I hear the dryer buzzing first..........

Until next time, big hugs,

Farmgirl Chic Apron

I love working at Wheeler Farm as my regular readers know. One of the things we've been trying to do a bit this year is "update" the Rosebud Store, which is the country store located on the premises. It is open from April through October (and also in December) and is named after the Wheeler's original dairy operated from the premises, The Rosebud Dairy. The store was built in the 1970's and is very rustic. Managers Darci and Shari have brought in more wholesome foods (but there are still hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn and soda), and have updated some of the "goods" for sale. I'll be supplying some aprons, and have been trying out a few different ideas and designs.

The other night at about 9:00, I got a "wild hair" and decided to make a half apron out of an old pair of recycled jeans and throw on some vintage crocheted lace. Mind you, I have tubs of denim for use in quilts, purses.... and aprons. So, I selected a pair of pants, some crocheted lace and some blue velvet ribbon, and within the hour, this was the result.

This is being modeled on that vintage dressform I bought back in March. It has an 18" waist, so it makes the hips look really wide.... Anyway, the two original jeans pockets were kept for the apron pockets. Where the two legs were, a denim wedge-shaped piece was sewn in to make a solid, flat front. The bulge of the crotch below the zipper is a bit of a trick to minimize, but you can get rid of most of it..... ANYWAY, I sewed on the lace (it was supposed to be a bit more of a pronounced swag) and added the crocheted rose piece (a bunch of which I got at an estate sale last summer). Blue velvet ribbon that matches the denim was sewn on the two sides for ties. The intent was to give it a very "rough", shabby look.

I've got plans for more, including a black one with a polka-dot flounce, and more denim and crocheted lace. Then I have some tulle I'd like to add to some, and different ties because I don't have wide velvet in the colors I need (plus I need to use up some stash)...... So many ideas, so little time.......


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lace Winners

Thanks to all of you who entered the lace giveaway contest. After entering the numbers into a random number generators, the winners are:

Marty52 and Susan Elliott (Plays with Needles). Woo-hoo! I'll send a quickie email to you both, but please contact me if you read this first and send me your snail mail addresses.... I'll mail them out tomorrow!!

Again, thanks everyone!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Reader Contest - Vintage Lace

This contest is going to be short and sweet and is directed to you, my regular readers.

As you know from a few posts back, I just came into a big stash of vintage lace. And I already HAD a big stash of lace, regular and vintage. I really feel that it's time for a Pay It Forward contest. So, here's the deal.

Leave a comment on this post, and you are entered. I will be giving away two (2) identical baggies of vintage lace. The total in each is 5 yards, although that is comprised of pieces that are either 12" or 18" each.

The top 6 are 12" each and the bottom 6 are 18" each. In addition to the 5 yards of lace, I've added a couple other goodies, one of which is a packet of vintage sequins.

The duration is short, so no need to blog about it or spread the word (I'd rather have YOU, my regular readers, in the running). And I don't forsee me having time to acknowledge each entry. But if you comment, you're entered!

I will draw the two names (using a random number generator) on Tuesday at noon (MDT) and will announce the winners that afternoon or evening.

Good luck, and thanks for your friendships and wonderful notes! I love you! Big hugs,

My Mother's Day Flowers

I've always told my kids, since they were small, not to spend money on me for a Mother's Day gift. I'd much rather have a handmade card with their real sentiments and thoughts written in it.

Well, they've always been good about the cards, but usually end up buying me some gift anyway. Of my three children, one is married and has just bought a new house, one has a baby on the way, one is engaged, and two of the three are still in college. They have higher priorities. However, this year they actually listened.
Instead, they ALL brought me flowers. They know I love them, but they've never given me flowers before. Well, picking daisies from our yard when they were little doesn't count. :-)

Two of the arrangements were store-bought. The other was picked from their gardens, and then decorated by both son Shane and Heather, the parents-to-be. See how Heather glued on rhinestones and glitter on the tulips. There are also pearls and glittered stems that you can't see.

I had a couple more pictures to upload, but Blogger is having seizures now or something and won't let me. So I'm going to cross my finger and hit the "publish post" button.

Hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

May you wonderful ladies enjoy a Mother's Day blessed with your Loved Ones, good health and happiness.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Rest of the Treasure

Today was a hectic day for me, and I'm so glad to sit in front of the computer for a few moments. This is why I got NO stitching done today....

The alarm went off at 5:45 a.m. and by 5:55 a.m. I was out the door, driving Bruce's truck to my Curves workout (Curves is a women's gym). My car is in the shop for an alignment, a couple new tires, a brake flush and a few other things - nothing serious - that have added up to a
bout $1300. After my 30-minute workout, I was home by 6:45 to kiss Bruce goodbye as he left for work (walking to the bus stop). I then hopped in the shower (I always say "hop" into the shower and Bruce always warns me not to hop, just to step in normally, LOL). Had breakfast, then ran out the door to work. Drove the truck all of one block to the Farm where I work because (1) I have to pick up the mail, which is a few blocks away, and (2) I'm the bookkeeper and have to take the deposits to the bank, a couple miles away. I've learned to only do deposits on M-W-F so that I can walk on Tuesday and Thursday.

At the Farm, I do the cash balancing (2 hours), guide a pre-school tour around the Farm, run to the bank, then go back and work on Summer Camp registrations for an hour. Home for lunch by 1:00. Start some laundry, read some email, collect the snail mail, feed the cat. Out the door at 2:00 for my dentist appointment. On the way home, get gas in truck and stop at bank to get $$$ to pay for
car repair. Get home, have 45 minutes before DH gets home. Washer spin cycle did not work and the clothes are all drippy wet. Wring out the clothes, put them in the dryer, call the Maytag repairman and make an appointment for tomorrow. Take pictures for blog post.

DH gets home; we drive to dealership, pay for the repairs and I get my car back. Yeah! They even washed it. But it's rush hour, and we don't get home until past six. Dinner. Fold laundry that took an extra hour to dry (and that was after hanging some around the basement). Collapse in front of TV to watch Lie to Me and American Idol. And here I am; it's 9:15. I'm going to finish this blog post and then go upstairs and read for a half hour before bed (current read: new book by Alexander McCall Smith: Tea Time for the Traditionally Built. It's the new book in the No. 1 Ladies Detective
Agency series).

Tomorrow, I have no workout, I can walk to work, and have no errands. I'll be home by 12:30 for a full afternoon of stitching, interrupted only by the visit of the poor not-so-lonely Maytag Repairman. But the weather is so nice, I may have to spend a couple hours out in the yard. It's been very rainy here, so I may Seize the Day and clean the flower beds and plant my gladiolas. We'll see.

So that's my mundane existence, made much more exciting this week by the Box of Goodies. Here are the rest of the pictures. I ended up paring down what I photographed, because there was a lot of satin ribbon, modern gathered lace and other stuff that is great to have, but not to blog about (you know what THAT looks like anyway, LOL).

Above and below: pictures of the lovely vintage laces that Catherine sent. The pile on the left is not necessarily vintage stuff, but some is. They're just more ordinary. Below is a close-up of some of my favorites.

Below is the array of bias tape, middy braid, wider satin and some silk ribbon, vintage trims, sequins, tulle and an applique.

And now to find a place for it! Actually, I only need to find a place for MOST, not ALL of it, because I want to share. Check back on my blog sometime between Friday - Saturday or so. I'm going to put together a little giveaway for you. I appreciate my blogging buddies!!


Monday, May 4, 2009

Lovely Gifts from a Lovely Stranger

These things just don't happen to me. I'm still pinching myself on this one.

Sunday was DH's (Bruce) birthday (he's celebrating his "dyslexic 26th birthday", which is an improvement over last year's "dyslexic 16th birthday, LOL!). Bruce's brother (Doug) called on Sunday morning to say he was coming over with a gift for me. We thought he'd maybe started, ...uh, "celebrating" a bit early, LOL, and figured he really meant a gift for Bruce. But no, he'd forgotten Bruce's birthday, and the gift was indeed for me.

Doug walked in with a large carton of Stuff. It seems he's met a friend on Facebook, a dear whose name is also Catherine, who is moving to Utah in the near future and is downsizing. She had gone through the things that her grandmother, a quilter and sewist, had passed on to her, and now she wanted to pass them on to me (Doug had mentioned his crazy sister-in-law - that would be MOI - to her). When I took a peek at what was in the box, I nearly fainted!

The first thing that caught my eye was a pile of vintage hankies. You know me and vintage hankies - never met one I didn't love. And the laces. Vintage laces make me weak in the knees anyway, and there were so many..... I won't even begin to
describe them here - you'll see the pictures. But I do want to mention the salesman samples of lace, complete with tags giving their product number and price. These are old!!! And there were books, a 1930 Herrschner's magazine (mint condition) with accompanying thimbles, trims, ribbons, braids, sequins, bias tapes & rayon bindings, and assorted "bits and bobs".

All of this was a gift from a woman I don't know. YET. I sent my card off with DBIL, he gave the info to Catherine, and we've been able to correspond a bit. I'm really looking forward to meeting her and getting to personally thank her. And I feel a big need to Pay it Forward, so I'll be doing some thinking on this............

But in the meantime, would you like some vicarious thrills, my friends???

These, obviously, are the hankies. Aren't they gorgeous?? And they are in lovely condition, definitely not cutters.

And here are the books. Every one of these books is a treasure, and I've only scanned them. I'll be digging deeper during the week.

This the Spring 1930 issue of the Herrschner's catalog, along with a Herrschner's thimble that came with it, and Catherine's note about the other accompanying thimble. It gives them a bit of provenance, don't you think?

I'm only going to show you this one page for now, because I don't want to handle the magazine too much. However, I'm going to do what Pam Kellogg did several weeks ago, which is to scan the magazine then show a few pages each post. I'll get that started next month probably (too many deadlines for me in May).

And now, here are some of the laces. I'll show more in the next post, but there's plenty here to feast the eyes on. These are all of nearly uniform length. Each has a paper tag attached at the left of the strip which gives a product number and (usually) the price. Oh, if these were only the prices we had to pay today, LOL!!

The patterns are so beautiful - and different from today's patterns.

Is there anyone out there who is knowledgeable enough about laces to hazard a guess as to what the possible dates of these might be (given the prices)???

These are just some examples of the laces in various widths. There are far too many to show them all.

But I will have more samples to show you next time in still different widths. And then there are all the crocheted laces (removed from garments and linens), and other laces, and, and....

To wind this up, however, I must tell you that dear Bruce had a wonderful birthday Sunday, even if his brother forgot him, LOL! He got lots of Barnes & Noble gift cards from the kids, and an IPOD from me. We had our coffee date at the bookstore, dinner out, and even spent some time out in the yard between the rainshowers. Life is good.