Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Here are some lovely vintage images for you (copyright-free). 

Please have a safe and Happy New Year.  
My wish is for only the best and brightest things to come your way!

Warm hugs,
Cathy maroon

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Review of 2010

One of my very favorite people - and for so many reasons - is Kerry Leslie of Kerrykatiecakes.  I have the pleasure of being a co-moderator with her (and Leslie and Hideko) on Crazy Quilting International.  She is our esteemed leader and a wise and intelligent woman.  Plus, she is a lot of fun and has a killer sense of humor.  Her only fault is that she likes to push maple cookies on me, but that’s an inside joke, LOL.

Anyway, earlier this year Kerry published a list of her 2010 goals and then periodically reviewed her progress against the list.  I found this fascinating and also made a list at the beginning of the year.  I never published it, but I did monitor my progress.

So, here is my 2010 list and my comments.  In a day or two, I will publish my 2011 list, but wanted to get this one “off my plate”.

1.   Participate in CQI Challenge, doing at least six (of 12).  Finish Challenge piece by year-end.   50% accomplished.  I did participate in at least six challenges, but since I was the Challenge coordinator, that was not such a great accomplishment, LOL.  My challenge piece was a valance I pieced for a bathroom window.  Most of the seams are stitched and I have a plan.  All supplies and embellishments are gathered.  That’s it.  It will move on to the 2011 list.

2.  Help plan and attend the CQI September Retreat.   Check!  It was a blast.  I blogged about it in October. 

3.  Begin selling off extra fabrics, laces, linens, books & other items on Ebay and Etsy. Well, yes, I did do this.  I sold alot of fabric on Ebay in the fall.  I opened an Etsy shop in July, but haven’t given it the proper attention.  Will continue on these in 2011 with more realistic and specific goals.

4.  CQ by 2012: Finalize theme, colors, format.  Piece the entire quilt. Yeah, right.  I wonder what I was smoking when I wrote THAT.  I’ve finally figured out what I will do, which to me was half the battle.  And I gave myself permission to do “just” a crazy quilt, not the masterpiece I initially felt compelled to do.  I haven’t sketched the layout yet, but it’s in my head.  I will talk more about this in 2011, because a significant portion of my stitching will be geared toward that after spring.

5.   Participate in the CQI Purse contest.   Check!  I got second place with my “I Love Paris” purse.

6.  Learn Photoshop Elements.   Yes and no.  I have learned some things (and used them in designing my Etsy header), but it’s such a complicated program with so much to learn, that I am still only a novice. Will continue this in 2011.

7.  Finish 3 UFO’s.  Well, ooops!  I had listed the three specific ones I wanted to finish, and those are DEFINITELY not done.  But I did scrap one UFO project and am almost finished with the Tea Time wallhanging, so there was some progress here. This needs further attention in 2011.

8.  Participate in Salt Lake Farmer’s Market and sell consignment items at Wheeler Farm Country Store. The Salt Lake Farmer’s Market kicked out the Sidewalk Vendors this year, so that venue was a no-go.   But I did do a boutique at Wheeler Farm and had consignment items at the Wheeler Country Store.  I sold some aprons (girls and women), some vintage baby clothes, a couple pillows, and some purses, sachets and artsy small wallhangings.   I will stick to sewing and CQ, because the my jewelry only sold when I marked it to clearance prices, and the altered bottles were a resounding flop.  

9.  Make a quilt for London.   Shame on me - that’s a no.  I have all the fabric and will try it again in 2011.

10.  Participate in 3 Round Robins.  Check!  I did the Wool RR, the Art Nouveau RR and have started the Autumn RR.  

I also had some personal goals, which included losing 35-40 pounds (did that) and getting through Level One on my Rosetta Stone Spanish.  Didn’t get that one done because DH hasn’t installed it yet.  I guess I’ll have to perfect my nagging hounding asking pleading skills in 2011!!

Cathy maroon

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Crackers and Steampunk Block

Did you all have a nice Christmas? (Or a nice Whateveryoucelebrate?) Ours was an almost textbook perfect day, with the exception of one daughter who lives with her family in another state and could not make it to Utah. Personally, now that Christmas is past, I am grateful for a few days to relax and take a few deep breaths. Now I just have to psyche up to begin taking down the decorations and tree.

In the meantime, I’d like to share the Christmas Crackers I received from our Crazy Quilting International swap, as well as some other personal gifties.

Ely sent me a Christmas Cracker wrapped in this lovely crazy-pieced block! The fabrics she used are all very beautiful, and she really put a lot of effort into making a divine gift!

And here are the goodies that dear Ely included INSIDE the cracker. More beautiful fabrics (and I mean BEAUTIFUL), buttons, lace, trims ... WOW.  Thank you so much, Ely!

My second cracker was from Lorrie R in Canada, and her cracker, too was wrapped up in a lovely block she had pieced. She also included a wonderful (and thoughtful) note.  Lorrie is masterful with details - the cracker was tied up with red glitzy rick-rack and had little purple jingle bells on the bows!

Her gorgeous fabrics were all beautiful fancy solids and incredible Christmas sheers to coordinate and overlay. I love Christmas sheers and have used them quite a bit in my Christmas stitching in the past.  But it’s been hard to find any lately, and these just made me weak in the knees!! Thank you, Lorrie!  You can also see how generous Lorrie was with threads, beads, buttons and more!

And Stacie B., who is a new CQ’er with whom I’ve become friends, was so sweet to surprise me with these lovely tatted flowers. Or snowflakes. I can use them as either, and definitely WILL be using them.  Aren’t they darling? I love tatting, but can’t do it myself. However, I know the effort that goes into making tatted motifs. By the way, Stacie, any time you want to come over and teach me to tat, mi casa es su casa, OK?? Thanks you for your generosity, my friend! And what a cute envelope, too!

And last, but certainly not least, were these glamourous goodies that my friend Diane M from Canada sent to me. You may remember that Diane stayed with me for a few days here in Utah before we drove together to our CQI retreat in Colorado last September/October. The fabrics are lovely embroidered fabrics. The two charms, which are both sea-themed, will go onto my Seashore Valance, which is on a back burner for now (but is on my New Year’s list of projects to be completed the first half of 2011).

Look at those lovely white things! Are they shade pulls? I guess I should ask if they WERE shade pulls, because I can definitely see them as treetops, peacock tails, partial snowflakes, fans, etc. Oh my! I am planning to have a contest or drawing sometime in early 2011, and ONE of those will be in there. I reserve the right to be greedy and keep the rest for myself, LOL!!  :-) Thank you, dear Diane!!

Below is the CQ-ed heart ornament that I made for my friend Leslie.  The picture is of Sheba, her sweet furchild who lost her battle with cancer this past fall.   Sheba was a great pooch, and had been a part of our CQI Retreats in 2008 and 2009.  Just a great companion!  I have felt so badly for Leslie, knowing what a close bond they had.

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This is the block I pieced for our Steampunk Round Robin at Crazy Quilting International.  It’s a 12” block and will be worked on by four other ladies before it returns home to me.

If you aren’t familiar with the steampunk style, it is basically described as Victorian (or romantic Victorian) meets technology and science fiction. Think of steam-powered computers with heavy brass keys, black lace Goth-inspired Victorian clothing, monocle-wearing men with pocket watches.  Gears and ornamentation and clocks and time machines ...  If this confuses more than clarifies, just Google the term “steampunk”.

And so, five us of crazy ladies will attempt to translate the look and feel of Steampunk into crazy quilting.  Now that ought to be fun!

Cathy maroon

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays) to all !!  I hope you are all enjoying the love and comfort of family and friends!

Cathy maroon

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More Christmas Images for You

Hi Friends,

If you are like me, you are often on the lookout for interesting vintage images.  So, I have been trying to upload some for you every few days..... my meager Christmas present to you.  But please know that your friendship and comments are so appreciated.  It’s always nice to know that you’re not just talking to yourself, eh?  LOL.

Our Christmas decorations this year are very much on the traditional side.  I love color too much to have an all-white or low-color decorating scheme.  And we have downsized to a smaller tree because it fits better in our small living room in our smallish home.  Of course, when this house was built in 1963, the original owners, who lived here for 40 years, raised their four children here.... and it was perfectly fine.   

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...

Bruce and I both lived in McMansions in our previous marriages, but have never loved a home as much as we do this one.  As Bruce says, “it hugs you back!”  And the fact that it is nearly paid for makes it all the more wonderful!     

Everything is ready to go for Christmas.   Will upload more images tomorrow for you.  We are off work now for several days and I plan to get some good stitching time in.  I finished piecing my 12” block for the Steampunk RR and will take a picture of that tomorrow with my new camera!  Bruce wanted me to have it early for Christmas picture-taking.  Smart man.  

Cathy maroon

Monday, December 20, 2010

Goodies and Prizes and Sales ... Oh My!

Oh, where to start?!?  I may end up dividing up this post, LOL.  So much to talk about....

First of all, let your fingers do the RUNNING over to Gerry K (Olderrose)’s Etsy Shop, where she is selling her remaining pincushions for 50% off.   This is unbelievable to me, because I know she has waaay more time and $$ invested in them.  And once they’re gone, that’s it.  I own one that Gerry made for me a couple years ago, and I am ALWAYS getting compliments on it.  It is the centerpiece of my pin cushion collection (OK, I heard that.... you’re mumbling “she collects pincushions TOO?”).    Here is my favorite one in her shop.... at least for the moment, LOL!

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When the mailman arrived on Saturday, he brought me a surprise package.  Apparently my friend Freda Butler   was sneaky and sent me a totally unexpected gift!  She knows I collect vintage hankies and hankie holders, and she found this beauty from the 1950’s:

This lucite hankie box is triangular shaped to accommodate folding one’s hankies in that manner.  My daughter, who studied ballet for 12 years, was totally enamored with it (as was I, of course, LOL!)

Bruce and I got a chuckle out of the pink men’s hankies that Freda sent along.  As Freda pointed out, it probably got mixed up with some red laundry to come out pink!  But I see possibilities for that black crown motif with a pink background!  Thank you, Dear Freda!!!

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And if all that good stuff wasn’t enough, Kathy Shaw (shawkl) had a giveaway on her blog.  To enter, she asked us to write her a little birthday rhyme.  Well, the random number generated selected me (for my number, not for the poem, LOL).  If you have ready Kathy’s blog for any length of time, you KNOW how generous she is.  Well, she really outdid herself this time:

Wow, I sooooo needed an infusion of Good Stuff in the way of silk ribbons, threads and laces as I am participating in FOUR round robins this winter.  I can’t wait to dig in.  Let me tell you, Kathy has a great shop that you can browse here.   I know some of us get $$ to spend on ourselves at Christmastime, and if you’re like me, you begin shopping in January.  You may just want to bookmark her site.  Some of her goodies include laces (including some designs I haven’t seen elsewhere), scissor fobs, beaded hat pins, needles, charms and PET COLLARS!!

Thanks, Kathy!!!

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Here are some more vintage images for you (it appears my theme today is aqua!)

Cathy maroon


OOPS!  I found this post in my drafts and just realized I never published it (almost a month ago).  So, here it is....

Every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, usually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we have our family “Fiesta”.  It grew out of a desire to begin a new family tradition when Bruce and I got married almost 8 years ago and began the task of melding our families.  All the kids are grown and married or on their own now, and grandkids figure into the mix.

 In the past we have had between 7 and 12 guests depending on who was in town (or who was even born!)  This year we had 8 (with three who couldn’t make it due to a furnace emergency and waiting for a repair person).  Plus Bruce and I.  Our little house manages to hug them all!

Oh, and the second motivating reason for Fiesta is to eat something other than turkey and leftovers after Thanksgiving.  It gives me a chance to pull out my brightly-colored dishes.  Not the everyday yellow ironstone, the fancy floral china, or the Christmas dishes.  Just my fun pieces gathered from Mexico (via Arizona), Pyrex from thrift and yard sales, bowls from here, mugs from there.... you get the idea.  If they are bright, festive and chunky, they fit in!

This year, the menu included chips and veggies with Bruce’s fabu guacamole that all the kids LOVE.   Then I did enchiladas (cheese with red sauce and beef with green sauce) and tacos.  We also had chicken tamales, mexican rice, and refried beans.  And soda, beer (Corona, of course), wine, and coffee.

In the past, we used to play board games for hours, but now with all the grandkids, that has been replaced by talking, laughing and watching the kids play.  A regular family gathering, you know.  Oh, and of course some of the guys had to watch football on TV.  Whatever.

So, the stars of the show were the kidlets, and I got precious few pictures once the action began.

Above:  Mike and Stacy (Bruce’s our daughter) with son Hunter.
Below:  London learning to climb up and down our stairs (very low rise) by herself.

London probably spent 40 or more minutes just going UP and DOWN.

Proud of herself!

She wore herself out, so Gammy (me) got to hold her while she rested!  

Life is good.
Cathy maroon