Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year! Vintage Images for You

Here are some vintage, copyright-free images for you!  Enjoy!

Origin of the “Don’t Drink and Drive” slogan:  The Johnson kids take the family car for a joyride when their parents aren’t looking…

 Mabel knew she’d wow the party-goers with her festive Clock Hat.

Can you hear me NOW?

After returning the car, the Johnson kids decide to make some Special Brownies.

It was obvious that the near-naked old man had been through a lot, but she would NOT touch his staff.

OK, this one is so ridiculous, I can’t even caption it!  Any suggestions?

And a Happy and Blessed New Year to you!!

Cathy maroon

Projects and Christmas Cracker

There are just a few things I wanted to share before year end.  In my next post, I will have some vintage New Years images for you, but first…

This was the Christmas Cracker I got from Molly P. in the Crazy Quilting International annual Christmas Cracker Swap.  Thank you, dear Molly! The pieced block that covered the cracker is awesome, and I will definitely use that - I think it’s time for a new Christmas pillow.  I love the beads and sequins, finger cots and beading thread - all sorts of good things I can use.  And I especially love the lavender lace lamb!! This was such a fun giftie!

As I was finishing up the piecing of my CQ Journal Project yesterday (finished photo in the next day or two). I realized that the center needlepoint I plan to use only has a salvageable area of 15x15”, not 16 x 16 as I had originally planned.  That just means that the finished block area will have to be 7.5 x 7.5 inches each, but I need to re-mark each block (at least on the back), or I will end up having to chop off things I don’t want to. I know. I’ve done THAT before.

My daughter Megan has two dogs, Chester and Charlie.  She asked me if I would make “the granddogs” some winter coats. She bought the fleece, I bought the pattern and have cut them out according to their measurements. The plan is to get these done over the New Years weekend. We keep waiting to get snow this winter, but even so, it’s very cold and they need some protection. *Sigh*  Yep, I’m a sucker!  ;-)

My step-daughter Emily is having fun with her Cricut machine, and this is the sign she made me for Christmas.  Isn’t it cute?  She made one for Bruce that says “Laboratory”.  Hehehe, she knows us too well.

With that, I am off to fill orders and get them mailed today, last mailing of the year.  It’s been a great year for Cathy’s Crazy by Design.  Thank you all for your friendship and support.

Cathy maroon

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Goal Review

Wow, am I glad this year is almost over! It’s sure been one crazy ride, hasn’t it? Too many disasters, too many lives lost - and that’s just my cooking!!! Seriously,  the roller coaster of disasters starting in March with the Japan earthquake and tsunami, the Turkey earthquake, Hurricane Irene, flooding, fires, tornadoes. Whew! Many people lost their lives, still others lost jobs (DH among them), others lost their homes or their savings. But have no fear! The Fat Cats keep getting richer!  But I digress…

Next year, 2012, will be easier. Simpler. With that in mind, I have set no new goals or resolutions for myself to tick off. But since 2011 is drawing to a close, I may as well wrap up this year’s look at what I accomplished with my goals for this year.

1.  Goal:  Participate in 3-4 CQ round robins.   100% complete.

2.  Goal:  Piece my “CQ by 2012” quilt and have half of seamwork done.
Progress:  This morphed into the CQJP for 2012, which is now pieced. Half of the seamwork? Well, since we haven’t even started CQJP yet, I will give myself 50% on this one.

3.  Goal:  Enter at least 2 CQ or quilting competitions.
Progress: 50%  I did one.

4.  Teach a CQ class locally.
Progress:  0%.  I decided I didn’t want to pursue this in 2011.

5.  Goal:  Attend 3 CQ retreats or gatherings.
Progress: 100%.  CQ Adventure (Connecticut, April), CQI Retreat (Colorado, September) and Victorian Stitchery Retreat (Kansas, November).

6.  Goal:  Take a class with Carole Samples
Progress: It was awesome!  100%.

7.  Goal:  Finish or give away at least 3 UFO’s.
Progress:  100%. This was done at mid-year.

8.  Goal:  Finish Seascape Valance.
Progress: Um…. I hope to work on it this winter. Did some seamwork, though.  20%

9.  Goal:  De-stash.
Progress: 100%. Progress detailed last October.

10.  Goal:  Sew a quilt for granddaughter London.
Progress:  I did one cheater quilt, hated it, and gave it to Goodwill. Will try again in 2012. 50%

11.  Goal:  Ramp up Etsy presence.
Progress:   100%.  I still plan to expand my fabrics, patterns and vintage linens sections more, but the laces and trims have been doing great - better than I had hoped for!

12.  Goal:  Begin reselling vintage things. Rolled into #11.

13.  Goal:  Conduct a local sew-for-charity event. 100%.

14.  Goal:  400 blog posts. 0%
       Goal:  Contests/tutorials:  100%
       Goal:  250 followers.  100%.   

       Total for Item #14, 67%.

Overall rating:  Approximately 80% of my goals were accomplished.  I’m happy with that.

And if truth be told, I have created a few more UFO’s during the year…. 

Half-done Journal Cover. I am actually still working on this one.
Potential Boho Purse…. stuff gathered, drooled on, then put away until next Spring.

Until next time,
Cathy maroon

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas and Father Christmas Fashion Show

I would love to take this opportunity to wish all my readers and Blogland friends a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah,  Joyful Solstice, or whatever you celebrate.  Our family celebrates Christmas and some celebrate Hanukkah. We are a United Nations of beliefs; Catholic, Mormon, Jews, Atheists, and everything in between, including a distant uncle who thinks he’s a Klingon.

This is Christmas Eve, and before Bruce and I relax in front of the fireplace and tree to open a few little gifties, I wanted to share some vintage Christmas images with you.  Feel free to copy and save them to your collections - they are copyright free.

I have always preferred the Father Christmas image to that of Santa Claus.  Somehow, I think the noble Father Christmas embodies selfless giving.  IMHO, he is the Missing Link between Jesus Christ and Santa Claus. Please, no angry emails, I am just trying to explain how I think the idea of religion and giving during this season morphed into commercialism.

But, back to Father Christmas.  This guy was a natty dresser. He knew that it took more than a bright red suit to be remembered.  I offer these pictures as proof.

This blue cloak and hat are trimmed with the finest white fur.  

As a change of pace, Father Christmas sometimes sports a yellow ensemble. 
Pay no attention to the fact that he is giving a tree that looks remarkably like the lonely one in the first picture.

Here we see Father C modeling his royal purple gown. Not pictured: the tree holder sewn onto back shoulder area, leaving hands free for a walking stick.

 Sometimes Father Christmas even wore lavender.  Yes, lavender.  But no fur on the hat (why overdo it?)

This khaki-colored ensemble sports dark fur. This outfit is lighter weight, reserved for years that were not as cold.

 Even Father C sported a red cloak now and then, mostly for photo ops with kids.

Nothing says “Outdoor Man” like this green cloak trimmed in leather cuffs and fur collar.

Father Christmas loved green, as you can see with this mint green number.

“Does this make me look fat?”  

Then there was the year that Mrs. Father Christmas (Mother Christmas?) sent all his caps to the cleaners.  He was forced to wear this wide-brimmed cap, a precursor to today’s ten gallon hat.

And possibly my favorite…..

The Natural Man, Father Christmas.  Doesn’t he look, um, God-like?  Or at least Moses-like!  All that walking and giving paid off; he has the physique of a man forty years younger.

No, I have not had any egg nog.  Yet.

Cathy maroon

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Forget the Hokey-Pokey; LACE is What it’s All About!

A few days ago I told you about my two lovely books made by Cat Baumgartner. The Cherish book now holds many of my special embellishments waiting for their eventual turn in a crazy quilt project.  But my first idea for one of these books was to store some special lace - lace that I had been given as a gift and I knew I could never use. It was much too precious. So, I had Cat make me a larger book and stitch the title of Lace on it.  

Have I told you how much I love these fabric books?  LOL

If you read my earlier post, there was a hint and a link to another post showing the lace that I need to find a home for.  It is the vast (relatively speaking, I guess. When you feel the weight of preservation and history bearing down, it seems vast) collection of vintage salesman samples dating back roughly a century.

Click pictures to embiggen

These two pictures represent a portion of the laces; I am hoping they all fit in the one book.  If not, however, I will just have to have another book made.  Don’t you feel sorry for me?  LOL  ;-o

Now I have a dilemma that I need your help with.  How should I display and group them?  I really don`t want to start without a plan.  And I believe that some sort of organization of the laces is desirable, as opposed to just slapping them in helter-skelter.

Some of the larger pieces, like above, will take two pages of this book.  I do not want to fold them on one page, but if they are spanning two pages, they will still be folded a bit.  Of course, I can always pad that portion a bit to prevent permanent creases there, much like we do when we fold our quilts for mailing or storage.

But for the rest of the pieces that fit on one page, should I use only page of each spread, or both?

Should I sort them, like the laces pictured below, in numerical order? Each sample has a stock number and a price (Oh! If we could only get them for that price NOW!)

Perhaps instead of sorting by numbers, I should sort by style. These curved edges look so yummy together, don’t they?

Or, maybe I should throw out the idea of numbering and style and go with sorting them by pattern. See the example below. They all are related laces, all having the same brown stitching and heart motif.

Here is a close-up of this pattern.  Please don’t drool on your keyboard!

As you see, I have some decisions to make.  And many of the laces are one-of-a-kind, meaning that their number appears waaaaay out of synch with the rest, or it is the only one of its size, style or pattern. So there will necessarily be a section at the back of these “onesies” for lack of a better word.

So, I would love to hear your thoughts on how you would organize the laces!  Once I get them sorted and in their pages, I can spend some leisurely time basting them in lightly.

That will be a day later this month or in January when it’s cold, snowy and I don’t have anywhere to go. We can build a fire in the fireplace, and I will sit back in a comfy chair with my coffee by my side to stitch.  I will have to skip the chocolate as I stitch on this!!  LOL

And now I am off to check out Cat’s Etsy shop again.  Maybe I can get Santa to check it out, too, as he shops for me for Christmas.   ;-)

OH SANTA….. here’s a hint:

Cathy maroon

Friday, December 16, 2011

Enjoying Life

Are you ready for the Holidays? I am. Well, except for wrapping a handful of grandkid gifts. And delivering the gifties to the neighbors. But this weekend, that will all be checked off. Whew!

So, in keeping with the happenings around the Blogosphere, I have chosen a theme word for 2012.  That word is ENJOY.  Now that I am retired and no longer have to work for The Man, I think I will be enjoying life more, doing what I want. Kids are grown and on their own. Grandkids make regular visits and then return home with their parents (don’t laugh - you KNOW that is one of the benefits of being a Grandparent!)  I just passed my annual physical, mammogram, colonoscopy, eye exam and dental exam with flying colors. Life is good.

I am going to ENJOY stitching in 2012.  I mentioned before that I have signed up for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project (CQJP).  And today I just signed up for TAST, which most of you know is Sharon Boggon`s Take a Stitch Tuesday.  If you are one of the 43 stitchers on the planet who have not yet signed up, you can visit Sharon`s blog here and read about it.

What else will I be ENJOYing in 2012?  First off, after I close out my 2011 goals, I am not, repeat NOT, setting any for this year.  I have some ideas swirling around for this and that, and if they materialize, great.  If not, no big deal.  In 2012 I will not even be accountable to myself for checking things off a list.  Whew, that is some more pressure off too.  :-)  And I would like to start a regular feature on my blog, to let you know what I am enjoying, what I am thankful for, what I recognize and appreciate in my life.  I have seen it on another blog, and I love it.  It goes something like this:

Today I enjoyed/am thankful for:

Sight:  Seeing and talking to an old friend at the grocery store.
Sound:  Andrea Bocelli and Natalie Cole singing The Christmas Song
Taste:  Some fantastic red grapes
Smell:  Morning coffee
Touch: Bruce’s hair when we hugged this afternoon

But I won’t promise to do it every day or every post, just regularly. Must keep it light and not let it become an obligation.

And here are some vintage Christmas images for you.  Today I selected ones that fit the theme of Christmas greenery.   Enjoy!

Cathy maroon