Tuesday, September 20, 2011

More Pre-Retreat Adventures

Things have been so busy here that Diane M and I will be happy to get on the road in the morning for our 7-hour drive to the Crazy Quilting International 4th Annual Retreat in Estes Park, Colorado.  :-)

Yesterday (Monday) we met for lunch with my local (that’s local, not loco, although she’s really both!)  friend Bev.  Bev and I say that we “met in Australia”, because we actually met through Sharon Boggon’s Pin Tangle blog!   After lunch, we headed over the Humanitarian Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon church, which is based in Utah).   Bev volunteered there for 10 years, and I did periodically through one summer.

Last year I took Diane and Ingrid there (see post here) and we hunted through huge bins for fabric.  That was exactly the mission that we were on today!  Fabric for the CQI Stash Dash and/or the Texas fire victims.

Diane climbed into the large cardboard bins

And she had a ball searching for fancy fabric!

Diane, Cathy and Bev
Sorry the picture is blurry, but a volunteer volunteered to take the picture, so we are grateful regardless.

This morning, Tuesday, my granddaughter London arrived for her weekly visit with Grammy and Grandpa (“Dammy and Papa”).  And she had the extra fun of having Auntie Diane here too (and she says that clear as a bell!)

London checks out the “baby cow”, Triton

She even held still for a half second so I snapped this picture

We all went on a wagon ride around the farm, visited all the animals (but missed the new Belgian Draft Horses that arrived last week.  Their fence was being mended and they were in a far pasture).  London loved the cows and all the ducks (every bird was a duck, whether it was a chicken, duck or goose). 

Watching the ducks chickens

Not a great picture, but at least I remembered to use the camera a couple times!
Right now London is napping, and Diane and I are packing our CQ wares and doing laundry - things we cannot seem to get done with a toddler around.  London loves Auntie Diane and sat rapt while she read her Mother Goose stories.  Maybe she is enchanted with Diane’s British accent?  She is, after all, named London!

This is my final post until I get back from the Retreat, and I will probably (hopefully) have lots of pictures and stories to tell.

Until next time,

Cathy maroon

Sunday, September 18, 2011

We Are Having Great Fun!!

Diane arrived safely on Friday night and we all got settled and had a good night’s sleep.  Then on Saturday morning we visited two great estate sales up in the hills of Salt Lake.  Both were in very nice neighborhoods.  On the first one, we ladies hit the jackpot, and on the second one dear Bruce found some treasures.  I will save pictures of the booty for another post.

Anyway, Saturday afternoon we stitched and sorted stash.  Diane wanted to go out and get some grapes from our arbor to munch on, and we ended up harvesting all the green grapes AND the concords.

We had so much (and there are more than half left on the vines) that we went around and shared with neighbors - five other families.  And THEN we decided to juice the concords, and ended up with several quarts of grape juice (which we may bring to the Retreat).

Today, Sunday, we visited JoAnn’s fabric store (BRUCE wanted to go, so we tagged along).  True story - he needed foam paint brushes, a new glue gun and glue sticks.   Diane bought some beads and I got a quarter yard of some lovely embossed velvet.

When we got home in the afternoon, we had a visit from a green thing.

OOOOOOPS………..  wrong picture.  Here is the green thing that visited:

The Fabric Fairy!!!!!!!

She just dropped by for a moment to make sure we had all the stash in order for the CQI Stash Dash at Estes Park Colorado.  She will fly back to officiate at that time.  Anyway, she flew off to help Shari Jensen in Colorado gather stash donations for the needleworking fire victims in Bastrop, TX.  Shari has been very busy!

After Bruce barbecued steak for dinner, Diane and I did some more stitching and gathering supplies.  Now we are off to watch another episode of the Tudors and drool over the costumes.  To say nothing of the actors

We will hopefully be able to check in again after tomorrow.  We are having lunch with my friend Bev and then all going to the Humanitarian Center to find more stash.

Until next report….
Cathy maroon

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Quick Post to Tell You …

I have added Google Translator to my blog (top of the sidebar) as I have had requests from a couple of my international subscribers.  And since I love and appreciate all of you, of course I want to make it easier.  A translator certainly makes life easier for me when I read blogs in other languages.  :-)

Right now I am leaving for the airport to pick up my friend Diane.  We will have several fun days together, and we will get pictures to share. Hopefully there will be some estate sales for tomorrow morning to kick things off, but we will just “go with the flow”.

Enjoy these vintage images that I have uploaded for you...

Talk to you soon!  Hugs,

Cathy maroon

Thursday, September 15, 2011

This and That and That, too.

The title says it all; basically this is going to be a hodgepodge catch-up post because I have so many things to tell you and show you that I am sort of just randomly going to my “blog” file (where my blog pictures are) and uploading at random.  :-)  I think my dear hubby’s ADHD is rubbing off on me.  Is it contagious?

Anyway, here we go.   First, I just wanted to show you one of the purses that I am going to put together later this winter. I didn’t have time to finish it before the boutique, but I wanted to show you.  The wool needlepoint piece I got for $1 when Bruce and I had a booth at the flea market in August.  There was an antique dealer next to us, and she had this in her $1 basket.  It had a lot of faded spots, but the center was nearly perfect.  

yes, the picture is upside down. That tells you how my day has been going...

So I threw together some fabrics and laces and trims and I am stoked!!  I have no idea where I got that lace piece, or how much of the lace I will keep around it, but I do know that the flowers and lace will be a focal point.  Duh

Next up, I wanted to show you a couple pictures of The Muddy Gutter Boys.  Bruce (left) is in a musical trio with his two best friends.  They have been together since their teens (1964), almost a half century.  They play folk music - a lot of Kingston Trio and that sort of thing.  They are really good. And funny.

Sometimes Bruce plays guitar, sometimes banjo.  Rob, in the middle, always sits on plays his bass.  And he tells jokes while Bruce and Mike (on the right) are tuning.  Mike also plays the banjo and guitar.

They have played in such far away and exotic places as Orem, Woods Cross, and Unincorporated.  :-)  Seriously, though, they play at family gatherings, church functions, company parties, retirement facilities, etc. Basically, anybody who’ll pay their (small) fee and give them (and us wives who accompany them) a free meal.  We always have fun.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

My friend Diane Matheson will arrive tomorrow (or maybe today, Friday, as you’re reading this).  We will have a few fun days of stitching and relaxing, taking London to the Farm, visiting the Humanitarian Center with my friend Bev, and I guess I will start packing, too.  Yikes.  Then we will leave next Wednesday to the 4th annual Crazy Quilting International Retreat in Estes Park, Colorado.

So, let me show you a few pictures of what our retreats have been like in the last three years.

2008:  The picture below was taken in the Denver Art Museum after we had a behind-the-scenes tour of some of the beautiful crazy quilts in their collection.

L-R: Connie K, Leslie E, MaryFrancis M, Debbie Q, Gerry K, Gerry H, me (holding Laurie B back so she won’t run away) and Janet P.

In 2009, we rented a cabin in Breckenridge, Colorado with (among other things) a hot tub.  There are legendary stories about THAT year, but don’t believe everything you hear.  hehehe.   This was the year that we were able to answer a question for the ages, one that has confounded quilters for centuries years well, maybe a few months:  What happens when CRAZY quilters get drunk?

Answer:  They make a SANE quilt!!
That was a fun year (well, they ALL were) and our numbers grew, as you can see.  In 2010 (last year) our sweet friend Hideko Ishida visited from Japan.  Our retreat was held in Estes Park, Colorado in a huge rented cabin.  Below are a couple pictures from last year.

Eating out one night

Kerry (far left) and Hideko (far right) join the others in the Stash Dash

This year, 2011, we are once again in Estes Park in an even LARGER cabin.  Our numbers continue to grow.  This year our teachers are Martha Green and Gerry Krueger.   We will have visitors from Canada and the United Kingdom.  And Texas.  Not that Texas is a foreign country (although some would argue, LOL), but at least one member who is coming lost her home and everything in the fires that have recently ravaged the state (family and furkids all safe).

So, I have a lot of packing to do (stitching stuff and dyed lace and other inventory since we will have a vendor day).  I am bringing along my seascape valance, pictured below, which you may remember from last year.   It has been upgraded from UFO to Major Focus Project this fall.

Better late than never.

Cathy maroon

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Trip to the Antique Store

In the midst of preparing for the boutique (to say nothing of next week’s CQ Retreat), I got a postcard from my friend Joan who owns an antique store (see stories herehere, here and here).  She had just returned from a show in Denver and had some old CQ blocks and all sorts of vintage ribbons and trims in.  Did I want to see them?  Twenty minutes later, Bruce and I were on her doorstep, LOL.

My discretionary funds are very low these days (it’s called retirement), but she always gives me a good deal (and this time it was a great deal), plus I got some credit in exchange for giving her some Etsy lessons. Let me show you some of my treasures.

There were lots of vintage ribbon flowers from the 1920’s, but this was a style I had never seen before. I bought it and hope to analyze it and see if I can figure out how it’s done.  I do have a class with Candace Kling in November at the Pink Bunny retreat, so if I can’t figure it out, I am sure Candace knows.

See the stamens tucked in there?
This is the back. I don’t know what those two black threads were for.

Bruce always loves a good antique store, and he settled himself down after doing his rounds, knowing that I would inspect every scrap of ribbon, trim and lace in the store.  To keep him occupied,  I had him sort through the baskets of buttons for me. I told him to think large and unusual; things that would go on Boho bags or that would just look awesome on a crazy quilt.

I have to tell you - he did a super job!  This was my favorite thing he found, and he knew it was perfect the moment he saw it.  What a wonderful button, eh?  It almost looks like you are looking down on a vintage hat!

Below are some of the other buttons he found.

And here are my trims:

And this one (below) I believe I got enough of to share. I will have to go through things carefully when I get back from Colorado.  And I am ashamed to admit this, but I still haven’t put everything away that I got in Connecticut last April! I realized it when I began finally cleaning my studio up this week...

This was so unusual I couldn’t resist:

A couple views of some antique metallic trim I bought:

And the

                    piece de resistance

Vintage metal thread and silk ribbon basket applique
It just occurs to me that I don’t have any pictures of the lace I got. Hmmmm… where did I put it all anyway?  I know it’s not buried in the studio

Hey, check out my Etsy shop if you haven’t done so for awhile.  I am still trying to add new motifs, but some are selling as fast as I can get them listed!  ;-)  Lots of new things, and I would like to get at least one of everything listed before I take my stash to Colorado!  

Oh, and I have reached 250 followers, so when I get back from Colorado, I am going to do a giveaway! Don’t know what yet, but I am open to suggestions…..

Talk to you soon!
Cathy maroon

Monday, September 12, 2011

Boutique is Over and I Have a Life Again!

Sorry about my long absence - it is the longest period I have ever gone without blogging, and I have so much to share.  But don’t worry, I will spread it out over the next several posts so I don’t put you to sleep, LOL!!

Somebody tell me WHY I am doing boutiques (she said as she banged her head against the wall).  Seriously, I do know why, and it’s complicated.

I feel the need to create, and have my creations validated.  Does that make sense?  When we’ve made as many (insert anything here: quilts, dolls, purses, aprons, etc) that we could ever use ourselves and also given them away to countless friends and family members, what are we supposed to do? Stop creating? No, of course not!  We continue to do our thing, perhaps trying to sell a few to maybe make some pocket change to go out and buy more Stuff.

Big Boho; lace is 1/3 of tablecloth border. 
Well, I did make some pocket change.  And that’s about it.  I forgot the three important things you need to consider when getting back into boutiques (like buying a house):  location, location, location.  In this case (in the Salt Lake Valley) location = clientele.  My purses and aprons and crazy quilting are eclectic, traditional with a touch of bohemian/vintage.

Boho Tote.  No CQ, but some great lace. And a rose and some cool bling.

This boutique was held in Mormon Mommy Suburbia.  A new area, middle class and up. Mommies are all stay-at-home, well coiffed and manicured, skinny, in heels, with 2-3 kids along PLUS pushing a stroller. That sums up 90% of the show attendees. Honest.  They were buying petti-rompers and hair things for their little girls.  And headbands and slinky clothes and gaudy jewelry.   I had never heard of a petti-romper until the boutique.  They are hideous, slinky one-piece things of tricot and cheap nylon lace that are probably assembled in China by people who make 3c per hour and work 6 days per week.   

Honestly, I am not bitter; I just am trying to be humorous about the whole thing and have chalked it all  up to a learning experience.  I need to get into a Salt Lake City proper boutique/market where the people are of varied backgrounds, more individual, eclectic - more of my market. Not young mothers, but mature women who do their own thing.  :-)

I only got a couple pictures of the boutique, and since I was a newcomer, my area was with other newbies in the back, unlit corner.  I did install lights in my booth by the second day, so it wasn’t all that bad.  But the pictures were all dark.

So, here is how I did my Crazy by Design sign.  My blog header, Etsy banner and business cards (in other words, the colors of my brand) are tan and brown with maroon and dark rose. I searched high and low for a polka dot fabric that would work, and this one, described as tan with brown, was the closest I could get.  It looks more yellow than tan.

I covered a piece of foam core with a thin batting (glued down with Fabri-Tac).  Then I covered that with my cotton fabric and stapled it on the reverse side.  (See below)

Next, I printed out my business name, making the C R A Z Y quite large (one letter per page) in my chosen font (HarbaraHand, which I found online and have used on Etsy and my cards).  Then I cut out the letters.  I chose a brown suedecloth for the letters, and fused some Misty Fuse (or the equivalent) to the back.  Then I traced the letters backwards on the fused back.  I cut them out, then fused them to the fabric.  I printed the “by Design” on a piece of muslin, then fused that on in an oval.   

The finishing was just hot-glueing on some cording around the oval and hand stitching on some of my own dyed lace around the outside.    


I plan to add a rolled silk rose or two somewhere on it for the future, but this was a rush job.  :-)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

So now I am back to work this week at the Farm (well, M,W, F mornings). My tasks this week are to clean up my studio (it looks like someone set off a bomb in it) and get it organized.  My friend Diane Matheson arrives from Canada on Friday evening for a visit.  We will hang around, shop, visit the Farm and the Humanitarian Center (fabric hunt!) and stitch and pack for the Retreat.  We will leave on Wednesday and stay until Monday of the following week.   But I will fill you in on that more later in the week and early next week.

In the meantime, it is PEACH season here in Utah, and we bought a case of them at the Farmers Market this weekend.  They were ripe enough to work with today, so the first thing I did was bake a pie.  And it looks as nice as it tastes, even if I do say so myself!   I also put up a few quarts of peaches.  Tomorrow evening (after DGD London goes home) I will do a couple batches of jam.  The rest will be for eating.  Peaches are my favorite fruit, so I can’t get enough of them!  :-)

When I heated up the oven for the pie, it started smoking once the temperature got hot.  Bruce had cooked Breakfast For Dinner the other night and had left some pancakes on a tray in the oven (where we hold them to stay warm after they are cooked).  He had forgotten them after dinner and they had been there for days.  They were hard as rocks, and now burned.

So when I took a picture of my pie, he insisted take a picture of one of his pancakes to share with you (equal opportunity).  Gee, aren’t you glad? LOL

Do not try this at home!

Take care and I’ll be back tomorrow.

Cathy maroon