Tuesday, November 26, 2013

More (and Better) Thanksgiving Images

I took some time to go through my myriad files and consolidate my Thanksgiving images.  So here are some more, and I think they're the best!!

Cathy maroon

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Some Vintage Thanksgiving Images

Some vintage Thanksgiving images for you from my collection!  To save with the best resolution, right click, open in a new window and save from there.  Enjoy!

Cathy maroon

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lace, Pearls and a Magazine

For all you Crazy Quilters or embroiderers or art quilters out there, the new issue of Crazy Quilt Gatherings from Pat Winter is now available at Mag Cloud here.   I’ve ordered mine and  am excited to get it because my friend Susie Wolfe is featured. Her lovely Christmas Tree skirt, which she started almost two years ago (and I mentioned in the post about our visit to her home here) is on the cover.  It looks like the feature is a few pages long and has lots of pictures.  Believe me, Susie’s stitching is beyond beautiful.  It is meticulous and creative and a real inspiration. An eye candy overload, I promise!!  This issue is worth the cover price for Susie’s stitching alone!!

And I have been doing some stitching myself.  This time it was for Elizabeth, my friend in Kansas. We are participating in the Lace & Pearls round robin at Crazy Quilting International.   For some reason, her blocks really spoke to me, blue notwithstanding!

There were two stitchers previous to me who had each completed their own 6” block for Elizabeth.  One of them, Gayle, had used a piece of vintage beaded lace that she had purchased from me at the CQI Retreat in September.  To coordinate with her block, and since I had more of that lace, I also used it. It is the lace in the upper right corner. Barbara, who had done the other block for Liz, had made blue flowers out of Mokuba ribbon, so I did the same (although I reversed the light and dark) to further coordinate the blocks with one another.  Finally, Liz had given us the Irish crocheted lace to each include on the blocks, and I used that in the upper left.

The light brown gathered ribbon in the upper left was raided from a thrift store find and given to me by my friend Bev. The other laces are all vintage. This was so much fun for me to do. I am just loving the Lace and Pearls theme!!

My Weight Watchers weigh-in was this morning, and I maintained my current weight - no loss or gain. But that is just fine, as I have lost 16 pounds even to date.  I had my Thanksgiving day all planned out nutritionally, and now we have been invited to Cousin Carrie`s.  Some of the family is Jewish, so we will be celebrating not only Thanksgiving, but Hanukkah, which some are calling Thanksgivukkah.  (Does that mean that Adam Sandler needs to write another Thanksgiving song?)


Cathy maroon

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bumblebees, CQ and Treasure

When I get really busy, I tend to hyper-focus and forget about other things.  When I was a book-aholic (and had better eyes), I could read for hours on end and forget dinner, bedtime, etc.  I do that now with stitching and being on the computer; working on my Etsy shop, playing games, reading blogs or surfing Pinterest.  And CQI (Crazy Quilting International) takes a good chunk of my time (and heart). So, that is my excuse - and I`m sticking to it - for not blogging even when I have lots to share.  :-)

I am still doing catch-up posts in addition to sharing current projects and happenings.  So, jumping back to last August, here are some pictures from granddaughter London`s 4th birthday party.

She wanted a bumblebee theme, and we even had a cute bumblebee costume that she wore, with antennas, but that came off rather quickly because it was “too itchy”. I think it was a former dance costume (courtesy of the thrift store) that was meant to have a blouse under it.  So the bumblebee morphed into a princess.

London, Age 4
Bumblebee cake made by Grammy (me)
Eating fruit before the cake was cut

Grandpa Bruce and I gave her a great art station (desk and chair behind London in picture below) that I found at Costco. It is made of durable plastic and has room to store her markers, paint, etc.  Her daddy (my son Shane) is an artist and London definitely has artsy genes. Last year we gave her an easel/white board combo, so now she and Daddy have their art spaces set up together in their apartment.

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I  am still waiting for DH to download all the cruise wedding pictures (from June - my son Ryan and DIL Kim) from his spare hard drive (that he calls “Spock”) onto my hard drive. He was supposed to do that on his last days off as one of his “honey-do’s”, but he forgot. Ahem. Well, at least I got the legs to the kitchen table tightened up.  :-)

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Let`s move on to some stitching-related things.

I have finished my work on two blocks in our Lace and Pearls round robin at Crazy Quilting International.  These are 6” blocks.

The first block belongs to Gayle.  I really enjoyed working on this and did most of the work at our CQI Retreat in September.  The gray thing on the left is a Margaret Rose, one that Sharon Boggon teaches in her workshops.  Elizabeth Rudder refreshed our memories (with permission from Sharon) on how to do those.  They are time consuming but fun (and my example is rather lacking).

The block below belongs to Barbara W.  She asked us to add touches of black.  Her six blocks in this round robin will go into a wall hanging featuring a vintage silkie of a spider`s silk wedding dress shop.  It is so cute!

And over on CQI, we have started a program that runs through the end of the year - featuring the Etsy shops of CQI members twice weekly.  We do this in the form of Treasuries, curated collection of items.  One is a “supplies” treasury (think threads, ribbons, needles, lace, buttons, fabrics, beads, charms, etc) for needleworkers of all types. The other is a “gift” or finished product treasury.

If you fancy a browse, here are some of the Treasuries that we have posted so far:

Crazy Needlewoman’s Necessities

Sewing Southpaw’s Favorite Treasures

A Crazy Quilt Journey Red and Green Christmas Sewing Treasures:

Crazy Crafty Christmas Gifts

LES Designs Inspiration

That ought to keep you busy and out of trouble!  hehehe

Cathy maroon

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Generous Friend, Thrifting Treasure and a Sneak Peek

Yes, I know I could post each of the topics in my post heading separately, LOL. But as I work through all the stuff I want to share from the last couple  few  several  NINE months that I didn’t blog, it seems as though it would be cheating to devote a post to each one. Like I suddenly became some sort of super blogger, which I definitely am NOT.  So, you may be seeing these mish-mash-type posts for awhile.

And speaking of my studio (OK, I wasn’t speaking about my studio, but I did have to change subjects), I have to snap some pictures to show you the remodel. First I will have to clean it up though, as it has been put to good use and there is STUFF all over it already.  But I will get to that soon enough. I’ll even have before and after pictures. For now, you will have to settle for one little tease picture.

This is my fancy thread storage. Using the idea that Gerry borrowed from Judith Baker Montano, among others, I bought the old coffee cup rack - a very sturdy one in a lovely light color -  and mounted it on the wall.  I also purchased some rings from eCanyons, a place that Gerry recommended (and now, so do I). While my friend Diane was here visiting from Canada after the CQI Retreat in Colorado last month, we spent a couple hours one evening hanging my couching fibers. I have another dozen or so rings onto which I will eventually add other fibers - my perles, floss, etc. But I wanted to get this riot of color up so I could enjoy looking at it!  And doesn’t it look great with that GORGEOUS pin cushion I won in our CQ Crazy Gift game at the retreat? It was made of wool by my friend Ingrid who lives in California.  I gave it a place of honor in the studio, but have not yet stuck a pin in it!

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Every couple weeks, my friend Bev and Susan (whom some of you know from the CQI Retreats) and I get together to either stitch, go thrifting or work on my Etsy stuff. They are so generous to help with their time when we need to be preparing or packaging inventory, and in the process I am teaching them a bit about how Etsy works.  But I digress.

For our last get-together, it was Susan`s birthday.  I just gave her a stash bag of CQ goodies and a card, but Bev went all out and really made something spine-tingly wonderful. I think it’s gorgeous.  She took a print of two little girls and hand-pieced it into a block with a real primitive, Victorian feel.  Then she stitched gold to “tie” them together and framed it.  The caption reads, “Best Friends are tied together with Love”.  

Bev`s gift for Susan

And then, thinking I might feel left out (or more likely, just being the sweet and generous person she is), Bev made me a little gift, too.  Those are REAL leaves that she stitched. They have gold veins and a bit of needlelace on them.  I love autumn and STILL haven’t put any decorations up this year - except this one.  And I treasure it.  Thank you, Bev!

Real Leaves, stitched
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The week after we returned home from the Crazy Quilting International Retreat, Bev, Susan and I went thrifting, along with Diane (who was visiting as I mentioned above).  We all found some wonderful things, especially since at this time of year the stores gear up for Halloween by putting out their funny, outrageous, vintage and otherwise bling-y clothes. Lots of people go costume shopping in thrift stores, which I think is a smart idea.  One of our particular favorite things is looking for highly embellished gowns or Indian saris and clothes that we can raid for beads, sequins, gold purl, etc.

And we were not disappointed!  However, I scored a real find when I found this obi for $3 mixed in with the housewares - curtains, tablecloths, etc.  Isn’t it lovely?  Now, I don’t know much about obis, but I bet this is not a valuable vintage find of any type.  In fact, the back and front are the same, so it is not even lined in anything like silk.  But it is a wonderful feast for the eyes - the print, the colors.  I have it laid out on my old sewing chair in my stitching room (another sneak peek, I guess).   There is no label on it, but since it is not handmade, nor do we make obis in the US, my guess is that it is, at the very least, from Japan.  Or, on second thought, China.  (???)  Is there anyone who could venture a guess about this?

I think I’ll close this post for now.  Although I have a lot more things to share, I think that three things in one post is enough mish-mashing.  And tonight is Halloween, by the way, so we will be Monster Mashing!  Bruce and I always watch Young Frankenstein while the kids are coming to the door for treats.  I think we know all the dialog by heart, and use it all year long.

“Hump? What hump?”
“Walk this way!  No.... THIS way!”
“Put the candle BACK!”

Cathy maroon

Friday, October 25, 2013

Family, A Great Find, and Other Important Stuff

On Monday, which was Bruce’s only day off this week (he is “retired”, heading up The Tinkering Garage at The Leonardo Museum in Salt Lake City “for fun”), we had a visit from Bruce`s daughter Emily, her DH Chad (who is between Special Agent training courses in the USAF) and our sweet grandkids.  We were really looking forward to seeing them, especially our sweeties Deacon (age 5 1/2), Abbie (almost 4) and Gunner, 7 months.

Deacon plucks the uke
One of the fun things we try to do with the grandkids when they visit is to have a Jam Session, where all of us on our varying instruments play and sing together some of our favorite songs like “Old MacDonald Had a Farm”, “You are My Sunshine”, and other standards.  The kids love to pick silly animals for Old MacDonald`s Farm (like kangaroos and giraffes) and we have to all figure out what they say.  

Watch out Jethro Tull - here is Abbie on the flute!
Anyway, for Jam Sessions, Bruce whips out his ukelele, and we drag out our stash of instruments, which include another (toy) uke, a flute (bought that for $3 in the Bahamas, so you an imagine how *ahem* “fine” it is), maracas, harmonicas, a Fisher-Price xylophone, our drum (old oatmeal carton), etc.    Wow, were we ever wailin’ on Monday!  ;-) 

Gunner on maracas (and bumblebee toy)
The most AMAZING thing happened while they were visiting us that afternoon.  We were having our annual chimney cleaning done, and can you guess what the chimney cleaners found in our chimney? A torn piece of sooty red fabric that had been in the chimney since, oh, probably last Christmas!  We adults were trying to figure out what it was and how it got there. But Deacon and Abbie figured it out first (wink) and excitedly told us adults that it came from Santa`s outfit!!  Oh my!  You can just imagine what a thrilling event this was! Deacon and Abbie wanted their picture taken with it.  We gave it to them so Deacon could take it to Show and Tell at Kindergarten the next day.  I tell you, the fun never ends around here!  

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A month or two ago I did some Angel work (substitute stitching) for a Crazy Quilting International round robin.  The block was mostly done (and nicely so), but I was the last person to work on it and tried to tie things together and fill in the blanks.  My humble contributions included the leaves to the large flower (upper right) that was already there, seam stitching in upper left, adding some flowers to the arrangement above the heart and the ribbon topiary and swirly stitching on the left.

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Well, I guess I have no shame.  This post has been full of gratuitous pictures of Cute Kids  and Lovely Stitching.  What am I missing? Oh!  Baby Animals, of course.  ;-)

So, without further ado, here are a couple snapshots of my sweet little troublemakers, kittens, Alfie and Darla.  Alfie’s picture was snapped a week before the one of Darla, and he is noticeably smaller.  They are growing up too fast!!

Alfie “recharging"

Darla - “I’m too Sexy for my Fur"
Yep, they’re really dignified, aren’t they?

Until next time,

Cathy maroon

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Victorian Ladies Round Robin

This round robin finished a few months ago, but I am just now getting around to posting the pictures.  

The blocks I sent out all contained a silk image of a Victorian woman in some activity - walking, reading, playing piano, etc.   The ladies were each given a piece of vintage lace and the silkie with the block and told they could place them as they preferred.  What lovely blocks I got back!  Five of the six were completed, with the sixth one waiting for me to complete it.  I plan to do a wall hanging for our bedroom.

I asked for low volume color - nothing too dark or loud - as my bedroom is in shades of cream and gold.

Block stitched by Connie

Block stitched by Gerry H

Block stitched by Hideko

Block stitched by Lisa A

Block stitched by Rengin
As you can see, they are exquisite.  I still have the lavender block (below) to stitch myself

And then there is the work I did for others in this round robin.  I already posted the work I did for Gerry here, the work I did for Connie here, and the work I did for Lisa here.  Now finally, here are the remaining contributions I stitched.
Cathy`s work for Rengin

Cathy’s work for Hideko

So that catches me up on completed round robins as far as blogging goes.  I have current RRs and some Angel work that I did, plus I hope to finish up my CQ Journal Project piece before the turn of the NEXT century.  Ha!

Also, I have given my new stitching studio a test drive, and I LOVE it.  I still have some shelves to organize before I take pictures, but I hope to do that this coming week.  Next couple days are devoted to getting out some custom orders for my Etsy shop.

But I will leave you with a picture of Darla and Alfie - doing what they do best; resting.  Of course, they are also amazing at running and playing, cuddling, eating, pooping, and thundering through the house at 3 a.m.  What would we do without our furkids?

Alfie (Alfalfa) and Darla

Cathy maroon

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Round Robin Work - I Love Paris, Spring 2013

One of the things I want to do on my blog is get caught up sharing some of the Round Robin work I have done this year.  Last winter and spring I was in two round robins with the Crazy Quilting International (Yahoo) group.  They were “I Love Paris” and “Victorian Ladies”.  This post is about the “I Love Paris” RR - work done on my block as well as work I did for the other ladies.

The “I Love Paris” Round Robin was a traditional RR.  We each sent out a 12” square (30cm) block and it was returned to us fully embellished after the other participants (in this case, there were 5 of us) had a chance to stitch.

My naked “I Love Paris” block

Finished Block.  Work by Wilma Van W., Kathy S, Theresa F., Darlene
Didn’t they do a lovely job?  They treated the lavender curved pieces as an “avenue”. That fantastic Eiffel Tower was stitched by Wilma and the bistro set by Kathy.  I love the whole thing!

As far as my stitching on others’ blocks, I showed what I did for Darlene here and for Wilma here.

This was my work for Kathy Shaw. It’s a girl sitting on a wall (see her bike leaning against the wall?), gazing out over the city to the Eiffel Tower (rather crude, but it is supposed to be in the distance).

I also did the seam treatments on either side of the gray patch. It was a particularly fun motif to stitch.  :-)

On Theresa`s block, I was the last stitcher, so I had free rein to “fill in the blanks” and tie everything together.

Wilma had stitched the sitting lady, but I added the pearl bow (button) at the waist to hide marks (stitching guides) that wouldn’t come out.  At the very top I added the flower and leaf, then the pink vine that meandered over the top 25% and the black trim - to break it up and guide the eye.  The lovely decoration of the Eiffel silkie was done by Kathy Shaw. I added  the scallop lace seam treatment to the right and the pink trim and black lines over the black lace (which was very visually heavy) on the bottom right. I also beaded that little flower.

Finally, I added the pink pleated ribbon and its decorations, along with some vintage millinery and painted lace “flowers” for the lovely lady to sit amongst.

Next time I'll show my work in the Victorian Ladies RR, as well as the beautiful blocks that returned home to me with stitching from the other participants.  I was so thrilled!

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This morning, I decided it was time to lay in a supply of food in the freezer.  So, over 2-3 hours I prepared lots of things for dinners, divided them up, labeled them and froze them. There was one little accident with a container of chili that we won`t talk about, but suffice it to say that my kitchen rugs are now in the washing machine.  :-)    The results of this morning’s efforts:  4 meals of split pea and ham soup; 4 meals of meatloaf; 3 meals of chili (would have been 4, LOL), and 4 meals of pancakes. We like “Breakfast for Dinner” occasionally, so if I have the pancakes or waffles done ahead of time, then I can just do scrambled eggs/omelets and add some fruit for a nice dinner.

I still plan to make Carmel Apple Salad this evening to go with our split pea soup and muffin dinner.  Next weekend I am planning to do lentil soup, lasagna, beef enchiladas and bran muffins.  Cooking in batches is great, especially when I have had a busy day working at home (my Etsy shop).  Then all I have to do is zap dinner in the microwave.

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And speaking of my Etsy, the busy Holiday season has started.  If Christmas is too far off for you to think of yet (I do have all my Christmas motifs listed), then check out all the leaves, pumpkins and other goodies I have added.  

Well,  Alfie and Darla are asleep at my feet here under my desk.  I think I will take advantage of that (they are soooo curious about everything, so when they finally conk out, I can do things that would be hard if they were awake. Like little kids!).  Off to dye some more lace.

Until next time,


Cathy maroon