Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Stash Enhancement Experiences

Stash Enhancement Experiences - or S.E.X. as some of us refer to it - are sometimes planned (visits to fabric or thrift stores), sometimes serendipitous, and sometimes downright unexpected.   But always fun and appreciated, right?

Imagine my surprise when I (Queen of CQ Stash) received this unannounced box of goodies from my friend Schultz in Georgia.  Dear Schultz is a quilter, of both the sane and crazy varieties.  She is also a cancer survivor, so my first reaction to opening this box of stash was "uh-oh".  But she wasted no time in assuring me that all was well in Schultzville (in fact, she is now a 5-year cancer survivor!  Here's to many more years of good health and her delightful repartee!).   So.... I am the lucky beneficiary of her partial de-stashing.  And since I firmly believe in paying forward, you will definitely see a lot of threads (some of these and some of MY de-stashing results) in the upcoming 200 Post Giveaway.  Details coming soon.

And then Schultz also added some lovely vintage buttons, beads and lace.  Totally awesome!  Thank you, Dear One!!

Last Saturday, I also made an extended visit to my favorite thrift store.  "Extended" means that I spent 2 1/2 hours there by myself, combing through every bin, every shelf.... you get the idea.  I thought I got some great stuff.  But then I returned today (Wednesday) with Bruce.  It's snowing and he was anxious to get out of the house (he's at the point in his back surgery recovery where he feels restless at home but is not yet released to go back to work).  Besides, today was Seniors day (20% off) for those 55 and older, PLUS there was a new color tag on sale for 50% off.  Wow.  I learned that things are more abundant and alot less picked over on Wednesdays.  Mental note.

So, these are my finds from Saturday.  (Will blog todays finds soon.)  I love the little "chair", which was a candleholder.  That and the swan will become bases for pincushions.  The black and white saucer was so "Mary Engelbreit" (or so French? like the chair) that I had to get it.  The wooden sign thingy will be painted and then used to display my business cards in my Farmers Market craft booth.  The linens are for resale.....  my Etsy shop will open in April.

And there were about two yards of this vintage kitchen home dec fabric that I got, too.  I think that, combined with a contemporary fabric (picture yellow or orange gingham,  a bright ticking stripe, or....) this will make cute aprons.  Or maybe combine it with some of those denim bibs to make aprons (see post here).  Heaven knows that dear Gerry K (Olderrose) sent me about 22 bibs she found on sale!!  A lot to work with!  And THEN sent me this:

Two boxes full of home dec prints that she used to make those aprons from!  (and the fabric is already cut and ready to sew to the bibs!)  It was, in fact,  her gift of one of her handsewn  aprons to me that got me started making them last year.  Those checks in the picture foreground are coordinating fabrics from my stash that I pulled to pair with the great (and wonderfully sturdy) fabrics from Gerry.   So, thanks to dear Gerry (whom I consider my FRMOMSIS - a friend, mother, sister).  I love you dearly!!

So, I've got my work cut out for me..... Farmer's Market opens in June.  And the Rosebud Country Store at Wheeler Historic Farm (where I work) is asking for a half dozen aprons to sell there, as well.   If it were true that we couldn't die until we finished all our projects, I'd live forever.  

But tonight I'm off to visit my grocery store (a local chain called Harmon's), where I've been invited to take part in their semi-annual customer focus group, which they limit to 25 people.  I've always loved grocery shopping.  And I was a marketing/accounting double major in college (marketing, in that sense means promotion and advertising, not "going to market", LOL).  But a focus group is meant to glean ideas and opinions and feedback.  Imagine getting paid ($40 worth of food and goods) to talk about grocery shopping.  I think it will be delightful.  Is that sick and wrong???


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Back in Action

So sorry for the long absence.  Wow, life has a way of HAPPENING, doesn't it?  Now I've got so many things to post about (and finally have pictures, too), that I'll probably divide them up over a few days.

But first of all, I noticed that I'm just a post or two shy of my 200th Post Anniversary.  So, you know what that means.  A GIVEAWAY!!   Give me a couple days to get it together, and I'll announce the details.  I'm thinking of doing something similar to my drawing during the Holidays last year - several prizes and you pick which one(s) you want to go for.   Stay tuned for that.

Next, some eye candy.  I mentioned before I'm currently working on a purse that I must keep under wraps for now.  It's for CQI's annual purse contest, and the deadline, which was April 1, has now been extended to April 15.  Either way, once entries are submitted, the members will vote anonymously for a week or two.  The winners will be announced toward the end of April, so once that's determined, we can all show off our stuff.  In the meantime, I promised photos of an old UFO I've got to finish this fall.

This is the left front panel (as you're looking at it) of an oriental-themed vest that I pieced several years ago.  I did some work on it myself (mostly seams), then sent it around in a RR.  It is not complete.  Not nearly.  

I did the base of the tree (below), and the leaves were stitched by Candji Buckohr, one of the RR participants.    Also participating in this RR was Jakkie Lease, Debra Coon, Barb Babb,  and Dorothy Matheson.

The motif below I stitched with one strand of silk floss from a pattern in a Dover book.  I also did the base seamwork, which needs more embellishing.  :-)  That black thread was actually surgical silk I tried using.  First and last time.  It will likely be frogged.....

This is the right front vest panel.   I have no idea why I made this vest so big - it's wider and longer than I needed, even in my heaviest days.  (BTW, I've lost 19 lb. since last year and am still going strong).   It will need some serious down-sizing and frogging, or else I'll find someone it fits and give it to them.

One of the RR ladies had attached a large red tassel to the black gong-like motif below.  I had to remove it because as you can see from the placement of that black "donut" in the picture above, that tassel would've looked, uh, rather....  well, let's say it would've been very "Las Vegas Showgirl", LOL!!

That black and gold trim above was a lovely vintage piece I received years ago as a gift.  Isn't it gorgeous?

So, hopefully this fall I can get this finished and out of my pile of UFO's....

And in ending this hodgepodge post, I wanted to share with you some lovely goodies sent to me by Susan of Plays With Needles .  I had commented on some of her lovely things in a recent post and before long they arrived in the mail.  Is she awesome, or what?   Do visit Susan's blog - EVERYTHING she posts is lovely - pictures, words.... WOW.  Someone from Stampington needs to include Susan in their Artful Bloggers magazine.  Really.

Thank you, Susan!

Hugs to all,


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Some vintage images for you........


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Victoria's New Dress

My Victorian dress form, whom I so originally call Victoria, finally has a new dress.  DH and I went to my friend Joan's antique store as planned, and I was able to buy a lovely summer lawn dress.  I remember that when I bought Victoria last year, Joan had at least a dozen or more white dresses.  This year she was down to three! 

Here is Victoria "BEFORE", naked!!

And here is Victoria in her new dress

Of course, for modesty's sake, she'll need a camisole and slip.....

Don't you love the lace???

While Gerry was visiting last month, she gave me the great idea to MAKE my own gown for Victoria.  I loved this idea, and do have patterns from the 1880's and 1890's.  I'll stick to the 1890's, though, because I  don't want to do the bustle thing.  And I really want to use a pattern just as jumping-off point.  Can't you see something outrageous on her??  Vintage and modern fabrics ... rather like Magnolia Pearl.   In time, it will happen.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Couple of Great Giveaways

My friend Freda is having the coolest giveaway on her blog Sew What's New.  She's made the most darling needlecase out of a vintage napkin (she calls it) or doily (I call it).  Take a peek.

Visit her blog and leave a comment to be entered into her drawing!  She'll draw tomorrow,   March 14.  And while you're there, check out some of her beautiful CQ work.

Also, many of you know Nicki Lee of RavioLee Dreams.  Nicki Lee has just opened an Etsy shop where she will be selling some of her gorgeous and one-of-a-kind laces.  To kick off her store, she is having a giveaway on her blog here.

Best of luck in your new venture, Nicki!!!

Who wouldn't want to win either of these prize packages???   Please take a moment to visit them, enter, and check out their lovely things!!


Busy-ness, London, Shopping & some CQ

I've been neglecting my blog while I take care of DH (who recently had back surgery).  He's home and doing great, but since he can't bend, lift or twist, I've taken on his chores, plus errands.  Still working mornings at the Farm and madly stitching on an entry for the CQI Annual Purse Contest.   And I also get to babysit my granddaughter London one afternoon a week.

Since I can't share my purse progress (but will blog it fully in April, after voting is complete),  I WILL post some pictures this weekend of an old UFO that I want to finish this year.  It's an oriental CQ vest that I pieced and worked on, then sent around in a round robin a couple years ago.  It still needs some CQ work on it, then stitching up.  Being fall colors (you'll see), I plan to finish it up this summer to wear in the fall.  

Also, I'm going shopping later today.  DH and I are going on an outing to my favorite antique store, Mormon Trader Antiques.  You may remember from my posts last year here and here that my friend Joan has a wonderful assortment of vintage clothing and lace (also here).  For my birthday this weekend, I asked DH for a gown for my vintage dress form, Victoria (I know, real "original" name, LOL).  She has an 18" waist, and it's nearly impossible to find anything else that looks good on her.  ;-)   So, we're off to shop.  I'll share pictures of any treasures I find, too!

In the meantime, I'll just share a picture that I haven't posted here before, but many of you may have seen it in my Stitchin' Fingers album or at CQI.  It's a posy I did a couple years ago on a Roses-themed round robin block for a friend.  

Until next time,

Monday, March 1, 2010

Flower Fairy Blocks Arrive Home

The Flower Fairies I Round Robin (a "Do Your Block" RR wherein everyone completes one full block for each other) concluded in February, any my pieced blocks returned home.  The other participants were from all over the world, and their work was gorgeous.

The Apple Blossom Fairies by Wendy in Alabama

The Chicory Fairy by Marci in Missouri

The Willow Fairy by Cobi in The Netherlands

The Lilac Fairy by Karrin in California

The Yarrow Fairy by Ritva in Finland

The Tansy Fairy (my favorite) came back empty for me to do.  I'll probably re-stitch something very similar to what I did for Karrin on her Tansy Fairy block, which you can see here.

Thank you, ladies, for all your beautiful work!