Friday, May 27, 2011

Of Tea Time, Robins, Hankies and the Big C

Since I haven’t posted for a week, it would make sense to break up all my news into individual-topic posts.  But the lazy me says it’s easier to lump it all together and just take care of business.  Besides, I’ll likely forget enough to warrant another post in the next day or two anyway, LOL.

This past week I finished the Tea Time block for Cathy L in our Tea Time DYB (Do Your Block) round robin for CQI.  All of Cathy’s blocks are very wild and colorful, with lots of prints.  Quite honestly, I am intimidated by the busy-ness, but did fall in love with the individual fabrics. She had one black, white and red block left, and it was the one that truly called out to me.  So reminiscent of the 1950’s!!

Cathy had already added the quote from Queen Victoria across the block. I added small rick rack on top of it and a simple black chain stitch below. In the upper right I added a crocheted doily topped with a vintage button with cherries on it, which echoed the cherries on the print of the white piece next to it.

In the upper left, I appliqued on a pink and red flower with green leaves from some old linens.  The flowers and colors echoed the print of the fabric beneath it, with the leaves serving as a seam treatment.  I feel that it also quiets that corner a bit...  The top yo-yo is from vintage fabrics, and the other two are there not only to make a trio (and yo-yos are so “fifties”), but to repeat the red and black in the vast white space of that patch.

This little hat was actually an earring. I removed the hardware and replaced the blue plastic flowers with some little red vintage millinery flowers.  A bit of red-dyed lace beneath the hat visually separates it from the mostly-white background of the patch.  I also added a red hat band and streamers of red gimp.

The red teapot and cup ribbon was perfect on the seam, but to outline it, I used more black thread and echoed the xxxxx’s in the white fabric print.

I know that you would not normally use a personalized MUG with a cloisonne teapot, but as I often say... this is my world and I make the choices, for better or worse, LOL!  I have had this little pot forever and have been saving it for a special block.  Same with the Cathy mug.  I had two, so it seemed fitting to give one to Cathy L and share the Cathy thing (aaaaack!).   :-)

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The first picture of the robin’s nest (see here) I shared on Mother’s Day showed 4 eggs.  That was 20 days ago.  Today I decided to brave Mama Robin and see what was happening.  So, I climbed up on a chair in the patio, stuck my camera through (and mama flew away temporarily, rightfully indignant at the intrusion) and snapped this picture.


I’ve truly tried to stay away, and in doing so, must have missed the hatching of the first clutch of eggs and the subsequent fledgling babies.  Robins usually nest for 11-13 days, and the first picture (May 8) must’ve been taken somewhere near the end of the nesting, just prior to the babies hatching.  Because they remain in the nest for about two weeks before flying out, never to return.  And then the mama robin begins laying another clutch, one egg per day.

So.... perhaps the other eggs hatched and fledged (hopefully) or taken by a predator.  At any rate, we have a new clutch in the works.  I plan to go out again on Memorial Day (Monday, in three days) and take another picture to see how many eggs there will be this time.  And maybe if we have nicer weather, I will be outside in the back more to watch from afar.   But in the meantime, the leaves of the grape vines are filling in rapidly, and the nest will be more protected and better hidden.

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My husband Bruce had his right forearm operated on a couple weeks ago to remove a painful lump.  It’s been there for years (albeit not painful), but none of his doctors ever thought much of it.  About six months ago it became painful, and he saw a couple specialists who blew it off as either carpal tunnel or repetitive stress syndrome or a fatty tumor.  Finally, a well-recommended doctor told Bruce he thought it was a hemangioma (an abnormal build-up of blood cells in the tissue) and should be removed. So it was.

The biopsy, however, came back showing that is a P.H.A.T.   and mildly malignant.  He will be rescheduled for another surgery to resect the remaining affected tissue (which is the fatty tissue beneath the skin but not involving the muscle). They will do a skin graft from his leg to his arm. Prognosis is excellent. This is a relatively new and rare type of tumor, and studies are just evolving. There has been no known case, however, of metastasis from a PHAT,  but they will check check the lymph nodes as a routine.

So Bruce’s short-term medical leave continues, but his spirits are up and his first incision is healing nicely.  We are both looking forward to a nice, quiet Memorial Day weekend and some quality yard time (weather permitting; rain is forecast).  Or, we may start on building that ark.

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When Blogger was acting up a couple weeks ago, dear Marsha Greenberg, author of Hankie Couture, tried to leave a comment on the blog but couldn’t.  So, she wrote me a note, and I would like to pass it on to you lovely readers:

Thank you one and all for all your lovely comments about my book, Hankie Couture, the dolls, AND EVERYTHING!!!  I am flattered beyond belief! Thank you everyone for your kindness. 

Words from the heart enter the heart, and everyone who took the time to write on this blog has entered my heart! 

Love to all,
Marsha of Hankie Couture!  

For those of you who may have purchased the book, both Marsha and I would ask if you would be so kind to visit Amazon here and leave a review of the book.   Or browse the book if you haven’t already done so!

HEADS UP:  Marsha and I are teaming up to put together a great contest for you, dear readers!  We are tossing around a few ideas, but Marsha would like to offer a dress and doll, or perhaps a book..... something wonderful either way, LOL!  So watch for that coming in June...

Until next time,
Cathy maroon


  1. The Trooper has more babies..I am lloking forward to seeing the fledglings later.
    I am typing one fingered as the cat has decided sheants to be a lap cat!!!

  2. Cathy, you sound confident about your hubby's surgery, but it must be a worrying time for you both. {{hugs}}
    Your Tea time CQ is gorgeous as always. Grinning here over your concern about mixing the classic teapot with the personalised mug! Where did you find the mug? That is so cute!
    I'll be back to check for the contest details. I've got a stash of handkies and a few ideas about what to do with them, but one can never have too many ideas!
    Ken was sitting beside me when I was reading your blog, and I showed him the robin's egg. He would have liked to see the birds, I think!

  3. So much Cathy, the tea time block is awesome! Best wishes to your husband, and looking forward to more pictures from the nest!

  4. Such a nice newsy post to catch up on everything you have been up to. I love what you did with Cathy L's block - the coffee cup is just too cute! Sorry to hear about Bruce's surgery but glad you finally got someone in the medical profession to pay attention and not blow him off. Wishing him a good and speedy recovery!

  5. Hello Cathy,
    Happy Memorial Day Weekend. I think with our rainy world we may need an ark too. vbg
    I hope your dear hubby a quick and complete recovery from his surgeries. Big Hug. Your stitching is great! Love the Robin egg and thanks for sharing your world with us.

    I have not heard of the hankie book so I will have to take a look. The author did indeed leave you a very very lovely comment.

    Hugs Judy

  6. I LOVE what you did on my block. I know most people are intimidated by busyness. I can't tell from what you've done.

    Glad Bruce finally got someone to pay attention to a lump. My husband had oropharyngeal cancer that went undiagnosed for a year because no one would listen to him and thought it was all in his head. Cancer was at the base of his tongue and stage 4 before they found it when they were removing his tonsils (not the regular tonsils but I can't remember the other set we was those.)

    Thanks again for the gorgeous work on my block and good luck to your DH.

    Cathy L

  7. Love the tea-time block you did for Cathy L. The cloisonne teapot is just adorable, and just right, for a personalized mug or a china teacup!

    Hoping Bruce will sail through his surgery and recover quickly.

  8. Beautiful CQ, tea time block!! Love all the stitching, hat,yo yo's, button and appliqued flower with leaf...interesting..Lots of ideas there!!! Hugs and Prayers for your DH and You. I thought my dh was the only one to get off the wall ailments..
    Linda in NM

  9. Love the additions you did to the tea time block Cathy, I have the same little mug (with Wilma on it of course) in my dollshouse! Best wishes for your DH's health.

  10. Oh Cathy, So happy the prognosis came out excellent. You're in my thoughts. I love that square!

  11. Cathy, it's always a pleasure to visit your blog! Loved seeing Robin's nest! We had a Robin build a nest in our pinetree but she must have decided that the location wasn't good because she left. Indeed, the location wasn't good because the Grackles were pestering her constantly! It's okay though, I have Orioles!!! I put oranges out for them. They're gorgeous!

    Hugs, Pam

  12. Dear Cathy

    I am so sorry that Bruce has to undergo another surgery. We are getting Dr. shy here. It seems every time we go something new pops up and I have had all the surgeries around here that we want.
    Truthfully though I am glad he found a Dr. that knew enough to know what he actually had. If it had just been left it might have ended up a much sadder story.

    Tell him good luck from us and keep us informed on how he gets on.



  13. I just came across "Hankie Couture" at the bookstore yesterday. Now, here it is again! Truly, Kindred Spirits!


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