Frosty the Fungus!

Frosty the Fungus!
See the art everywhere - even in a pack of mushrooms!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Vintage Patchwork Pup

Last month, my niece and I went to an Art Walk at a local antique store. The rear of the store was furnished with several 'walls' of spaces which are rented to local artists to display and sell their craft.

I hope to display my paintings there soon. More to come on that...

We, of course, love anything vintage, so we browsed the aisles for interesting and unusual pieces of history and just plain fun stuff! It's always fun to see something in an antique store that you have at home!

We came across this little Scottie patchwork doggie - isn't that just the cutest thing?

The wheels started turning in my head...I can make one of these!! With that same thought, my niece exclaimed, "YOU can make one of these!" 

I have collected vintage fabric scraps from boxes given to me over the years. (People love to give you fabric when they know you sew and as a rule, a quilter throws NOTHING away!)

I save my squares in produce clam shell boxes - these are just a small sample of my collection!

Soaking away!

 

















































































































Water is very dirty!    




























Sew...*insert smiley*...I picked a bunch of squares already cut from my stash of oldies. They were very old and a bit grungy so I did my magic by just soaking in some Oxy dissolved in warm water. After an overnight soak, I rinsed - yuck...just look at that dingy water!

Squaring up to 2 1/2"

I laid out on a beach towel to dry and then ironed each one nice and flat. Since they were probably cut with scissors back in the day, I thought I should try to make them all one size for easier assembly. So I took my rotary and squared them close to 2 1/2".
Front - 22 squares ~ Back - 22 squares ~ Sides - 28 squares

Laying them out in Puppy shape was fun! There are 22 squares for each side - remember to make the puppy mirror images. You also need 28 squares for the outer edge which joins front to back. So a total of 72 scrappy squares is all you need for fabric supply!

The next step is to sew the rows top to bottom, alternating pressed seams for easier joining. Once you have the front and back pups all sewn together comes the difficult part.  
Lots of pins and patience are needed to match and go around inside and outside corners. Take your time and it will go together just fine! I left a 2 square opening by the tail on one of the seams to turn right side out. 


Note: clipping the inside corners is key to making them fall into place nicely.  



Now for the finished pup!



I see that this pup turned out a bit larger than the one in the store...I think I would use 2" squares next time to reduce the size..but I do love this one!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

HEY THERE HYACINTH!

Most times we think of the fragrant Hyacinth as an Easter flower signaling the season of Spring and the Resurrection of our Lord!

I have an antique Hyacinth vase which I only found out about within the past 10 years or so. I have taken care of this beautiful smokey purple vase for years but always wondered about it's funny shape? Martha Stewart, my Mentor, explained what these vases were one day and I was like, "Hey, I've got one of those!" Then my daughter, Amanda, received one as a gift one year for her Birthday from a friend. Her Birthday is in March and often falls on Easter or Palm Sunday.

I decided to use Amanda's vase this year when I saw Hyacinth bulbs for sale at Shop Rite - 5/$2.99. I thought it would be nice to grow a bit of Spring flowers during the Holiday season. Low and behold, the first one "planted" has started to bloom! A gorgeous pink one!!


This is what greets me every morning in the sunshine!
So pretty!
I like this view!


This is my favorite shot!





Saturday, August 18, 2012

O C D - It's not what you think!!

The Saturday before the new job starts...

Since I will be working weekends, holidays and evenings, I have been catching up with home life such as the yard work, house cleaning and some sewing and quilting projects.

Did y'all know I have a PHD? I have many, actually. Betcha didn't know I was so darned smaart!  sp. :0)

Nah...it's not what you think. I never went to college...I chose Mommy 101 as my ultimate career! I scored an awesome job and have been there for 32 years. Retirement is not an option with this job though...but the benefits have been so rewarding!

In my little world, I get an idea and need to see it happen no matter what else around me needs tending. Hence, many PHD's are acquired. "Projects Half Done"

I do get around to finishing them...eventually (and THAT feels really good and accomplished) but being a procrastinator by nature and also being a child of a man with OCD before anyone knew what that was, I'm basically overwhelmed at times. My Dad was called fussy and a perfectionist back in his day BUT I know better! Organized Chaos can be that fine line between a perfectionist and a person who is an Obsessive Compulsive. I do think we all have some degree of OCD whether it be stacking newspapers for the recycling a certain way right down to alphabetizing the spice cabinet (yeah, I do that).

I also obsess about laundry. I hang it outside to dry mostly and in 3 categories - 1) Like objects together, 2) Size order and 3) Color order. Sometimes it benefits me since a step is sorta already done when folding and putting away!

Love to hang laundry out! Must hang in order, though! :)

Okay...not to get off the subject here. Note to self: Add AADD to my OCD and PHD.

I will be posting completed projects now that I am trying to keep this blog going steady. I will post a photo of the PHD and then the "TADA!" I will try to start that photo posting tomorrow afternoon, I have a project just about finished! WooHoo! 

Okay...I'll just give you a peek - I know we all love a photo to look at on a blog :D

Hawaiian Breadfruit - kit purchased in Hawaii in 2005. All by hand. Needle-Turn Appliqué and Echo quilting. To finish - border, backing and binding...stay tuned!


      

Working full time again is just a great feeling. I will have more time with less time. (Oh, and some $$$ too!) I know that sounds really weird and inaccurate but it is true. You make more time to do what you love when your time is limited. Helps us procrastinators tremendously!

So, I bet you can't wait to see my first PHD become OCD. Nope, not what you think...Objects Completely Done!

Friday, August 17, 2012

I'm baaaack! My Daughter's Wedding AND I am once again employed!!!

I suppose things have been in the Seinfeld's bizarre-o world for quite some time now...

Many changes in life - worked 2 jobs, quit one, lost one -- back to square one! I've been out of work for 10 months now...sometimes a Blessing in disguise.

My daughter was married in June - a beautiful day! I made all her floral -(she joined me in the table arrangement frenzy!) corsages, bouquets and boutonnieres. Made my dress as well. Ahem...cut it out the morning before the wedding...but we don't need to go there.


Table Arrangements x16!

Bridesmaid/Flower Girl Purses

Bride's Bouquet

Gazebo Decorations -  but weather did not cooperate :(

Mother of the Groom

Groom

Ushers

Mother of the Bride

Giving my Daughter Away to a wonderful Man!

So the resumé races begin full time. Did I mention, looking for a full time job is a full time job? Can you say cover letter? Wow...did not realize the technical world these days has hampered the simplest of tasks...applying for a job. I will explain in the following.

       BASIC RULES FOR APPLYING FOR A JOB IN THE 21ST CENTURY
  • Do not walk into any place of employment and ask if they are hiring. 
  • Do not walk into any place of employment and ask for an application.
  • Do go home and perform a search online for jobs in your area of expertise.
  • Do apply and follow ALL instructions - many of which will take you to another page powered by an assessment partner.
  • Complete the assessment and PLEASE be consistent in your answers.
  • Wait for an auto-reply email to tell you that you have taken the proper steps and should wait for the company to assess your talents and abilities.
  • Wait.
  • Wait some more........ 
  • After some time has elapsed and you have forgotten you even applied, 1 of 2 things may happen: You receive another automated email saying basically, "Thanks, but no thanks" or you never hear from them again.
I seriously applied for at least 6 jobs a week that I thought I would fit the criteria, experience and education advertised. Thanks to the internet, there were probably 9,647 applicants besides me applying for each one.

I may be weird but I really liked the days of signing my name in blue ink on a cover letter, licking a stamp and going to the post office with my hope and dream of working for that particular employer whose name was on the front of the envelope.

Needless to say, I am gainfully employed by a wonderful company and I will be starting my training next Monday. I am so looking forward for structure and time management being a part of my daily routine, once again! I wish you, any of my unemployed friends, much luck in your searches. It does come, eventually to those who are patient and persevere.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wenesday Re-Group Myself...






...need to really regroup today. I have been away too long and a lot of great things have happened.

My youngest graduated college in Virginia on May 15th. I seemed to be waiting forever for that day and now it's almost a month behind
me. Makes me wonder how my time is spent when I 1) Have so many unfinished projects and 2) never seem to sit idle? Could it be I have 'too many irons in the fire' as my dear Mom used to say?

Yes, perhaps...but the flip side is what? Nothing to do? Boredom? I can truthfully say, I do not ever recall saying to anyone in my entire 52 years that I am bored. Always doing, planning, thinking, (even sometimes plotting hehe) something. Mostly new design ideas in several areas.

Quilting has become my newest passion over the past 2 years. I have evolved and progressed...I am proud of both accomplishments. I have the ideas and I have the fabric stash...so why not? There really is no way to do this ancient craft wrong. Your idea + your fabric = your OOAK quilt!

I also am constantly pondering new home decor ideas in this gray matter of mine. These days, as my tastes have changed over the years, I have come to love the shabby look and presence. Old and rusted become white and embellished. Some glam mixed with some rustic...roses, lace, chipped and peeling paint married with crystals...endless possibilities! As long as you keep with the basic decorating rules of balance and scale...you are there!

My 3rd passion is gardening. I am fortunate to have over an acre of land. I have recently found my designing techniques inside the 4 walls has overflowed to my outdoor summer living space. Being on a tight budget but also getting sheer pleasure from resurrecting old throw aways and treasures...I have made a nice place to unwind in the solitude of my yard. I am now in the process of building a stacked stone wall around my patio beds. A large undertaking for me, myself and I but the exhilaration of DIY cannot be matched!

So now you see...my time away has been spent very wisely...

I hope to visit you, my readers and lovers of the design following, more frequently. My custom sewing for the home business has started to really take off so I will be sharing my new and improved ideas and designs with you.

Have a terrific day!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Rain Doesn't Stop the Progression...






I know it's been a while since I've been here...don't know where the time is going to?

...rainy Monday. Not so bad though. Thoughts of washing the earth's surface and refreshing it's soul. That's how I perceive today's feelings I have...watching out the window, the gentle drizzle and the Robins thinking they are in worm heaven!

I've been working on 'refreshing' things of my own. I am a firm believer in recycle, reuse, etc...

Money is tight for all of us these days. But who said we cannot continue decorating, rearranging and so forth? Take what you already have...sit down and take a good look at it. Turn it around, upside down, perhaps...take another good look. Bang! The idea strikes!

A simple "step basket" about 10 yrs old. Pretty much used for the pup's leash and flashlight for walking her. During my remodel, I guess something leaked in this basket...those type of stains drive me nuts! OK...walking through the home improvement store ~~ stumble on a cart of marked down wallpaper. What a find! So I see a sage color vinyl border roll...still sealed...hmmmm...$2.50? How could I go wrong?

So basket has 2 wooden panels on bottom...I cut the wallpaper to fit, overlapping to make the width. Dunk in water, slap it on, et voilà! For just mere pennies, I saved an eyesore piece by my front door and gave it individuality!

A basket that has whole new look that is fresh and clean...renewed and refreshed, just like the day...

...now I wonder what I can do with the 13' of remaining border...hmmmmm....

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter...and the senses

...waking up this chilly morning with the sun shining and birds singing...taking me on a trip back to some early recollections of this holiday. Easter Sunday, in my home, was my Dad taking me to 9:00 Mass and then on to Branchbrook Park...Cherry Blossom time! I would always have a new home sewn ensemble, thanks to my dear Mom and her fashion talents. (also many arguments regarding a child of the 60's and what was appropriate attire for church)

I am an olfactory type person...the scents of this time of renewal can jog just about any memory of my 52 years...I am so thankful for that sense. It allows me to live each and every memory...amazingly, just by the smell. The newly dug soil, a Spring rain shower and the worms come out...only to die an uncertain death once the sun arrives on the scene :( I can smell snow, impending thunderstorms and Easter...yes, Easter Sunday has it's own smell too. Didn't you ever notice that Easter chocolate smells completely different than chocolate any other time of year?

Today is a gift to all of us...I will use mine to it's fullest capacity. Make yours wonderful...