May 18, 2008

Playing At Being A City Farmer

I took this URL from child #1's blog. I just found the photos and commentary so delightfully charming! One has to love spring in New York! (I did try to get it to link so you could click thru, but for some reason I couldn't get it right! Hopefully cutting and pasting works for those of you who might enjoy a virtual trip to the Farmer's Market)
I might find myself enjoying the Lilacs,Wisteria,Lavender, Lilly of the Valley, Irises and other flowering goodies around the outside of the house more IF my allergies weren't so bad this spring, and IF I had a Gardner to weed, trim and just keep up with it all. Ah well...I guess playing city farmer has its merits as well.Some days there is nothing better than the smell of this good earth! Other days it is a study on how well Alieve really works. I guess even on those days, it is so worth the aching muscles when everything is blooming and showing off nature's full glory.

May 17, 2008

Sittin' Around Waitin' for the Paint to Dry

Well, this is it...the moment of truth! One coat of paint has been applied to a small portion of the living room wall so I could contemplate how it will work with : 1. the dark woodwork, 2. the couches (see pillow- and why I didn't want to go "beige" and boring), 3. the few framed pieces that will go back on the wall and 4. the carpet.
The room is perfectly nondescript: light toppers on the windows, light couches, semi-light carpet. The big pieces of wooden furniture have warm maple coloring and I want to get rid of the brass and glass hand-me-down coffee table... maybe even that huge, heavy walnut side table on the far side of the couch. The room feels like it is a clean slate, and can handle some color. "Golden Bear" is nice. I do like the color so far. Not quite what I expected, and I've dropped the window shades a bit to see what happens when the room gets dark. I think I still like the effect. Kind of dramatic for our house! The fireplace wall will get deeper more dramatic colorway for that little bit of wow factor. Let's hope. The dog isn't saying much, and he is the only other living creature to share this experience with me today (at least until the male inhabitant returns from the Yankee/Met game in NYC). See a sneak peek below- not that it is anywhere near standing in the room itself:

Oh well, I can keep eyeing it and thinking until Monday when the painters return.
Our bedroom is shaping up. The wainscoting got its primer today. The whole room is starting to scream "cottage" to me and I am very happy. In the meantime, I have banished myself to the sewing room as I have projects to finish by the end of next week. Here is a photo of a holiday candle mat made from Holly Taylor's new fabric line.

Notice the "lovely" silver background! I have the beginning of my 4' by 8'design wall sitting against the wall. I need to cover it with flannel (or batting) and then get it up on the wall permanently. The other blocks on the wall are my Orange Crush blocks from the Quiltville mystery by Bonnie Hunter. I think mine should be called "Make Mine Guacamole":

when you work in reproductions most of the time that is what your scrap bin is filled with. Actually, the gold will look nice with the new "Golden Bear" wall color-- hummmmmm.

Once the chaos is over, things will work out fine I'm sure. I just can't get over how much stuff there was in those two rooms! Much of it will not be going back. Clean slate remember! Only the very special items will return and then I can add to the home dec. as it needs it! Hunting out the perfect accessories can be fun.

Until then, I guess I will just concentrate on getting the stuff for the shop done and clean up that slate too! The older I get, the less chaos and mess I can stand *smile*.

May 14, 2008

I Have To Admit It

I'm addicted! Sometimes you find a book that you just can't put down. First, the book Twilight by Stephenie Meyer did that to me. Read it into the wee hours of the night. Had to have the next two installments immediately (New Moon and Eclipse). Meyer's Twilight series was written for young adults. Don't know about that- I was hooked from the get-go. I also can't wait to see if the movie that is to be released in December will live up to the love story of Bella and Edward. For those who have never heard of Twilight, Bella is a high school student who moves to the northwest to live with the father she barely knows. There, she meets and falls in love with Edward, a fellow student. Only- Edward isn't just any high school student. Edward is a vampire. Move over Ann Rice, there is another writer who can spin a tale that begs for more! I've already pre-ordered the fourth segment of the saga of Bella and Edward. Some have likened these to the Harry Potter books for their wide appeal. Never having read any of the Potter books (yes, I know, I'm probably in a very small minority here) I can't vouch for that. I do know I love the way Meyer spins a tale. Next, I had to have Meyer's new "adult" book, The Host. Finally got to Borders Books first thing this morning to get the copy they were holding for me. It has been out a week now! Ho boy-- am I in trouble. I have lots I have to do, but I can see me having to read this one well into the night(and then some) until I've reached the last page. I am taking a bit of a breather right now. I did have to do some necessary laundry, and a bit of "home work" before tomorrow. I hated to stop, and will settle back onto the couch after dinner to return to its pages. Yes, indeed, I'm hooked...she got me right at the Prologue: "Inserted". The Host is a perfect blend of science fiction, thriller and love story. I love a good book!!

May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

I think it is kind of nice how Mother's Day fits nicely between our anniversary and my birthday. Being the sweet hubby he can be, mine got me the anniversary/mom day/b'day gift all rolled into one...I seem to be photo challenged lately, but below is my lovely new iPod in it's deep purple case...yes, purple! Not green, not red (my favorite colors) but purple. It is so cute, and I've even downloaded from iTunes. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks!

In the mist of all this merriment, we have our house all torn to pieces--literally! The old, past its prime living room wallpaper is gone, but more exciting-- the 30++ year old cabbage roses no longer live in our bedroom! It is worth sleeping in the guest room on that too soft mattress to see those things going into trash bags! Work will continue to bring us a clean, cottage feeling. I am having bead board installed in the bedroom and will have that and the woodwork painted a crisp white. Think I've settled on a yellow for the upper walls. Now to think about what to paint the living room walls. It is supposed to rain tomorrow, so it is a good way to spend my morning off--I'll make myself at home in the paint department of Home Depot and grab color chips!
Such little things make me sooo happy!

May 8, 2008

Addicted to Wool

Just a quick entry this am before work- since I am on a roll! Wanted to show off the just about finished wool applique piece that I worked on the other evening. It will be a shop sample before it comes home. Having become addicted to wool I am on a mission to get the world behind me on this one and have proposed a class. Let's see if I can be convincing and bring others over to the wool side! The little bird pattern was actually a block from a stitchery pattern called Summer's Reign. I just loved the pattern, but didn't want to do it in stitchery. Once the bird gets his legs I will mount the piece and set it into the green and cream stripe frame. The red fabric around the block itself is the gorgeous new silk Andover Fabrics has added to its fabric collections. I am so happy with this little piece that I've decided to do the entire pattern as a wool wall hanging. I want to get rid of the silly too-small mirror over the fireplace mantle, and I think that could be the perfect place for a lovely small quilt.
I'm addicted,definitely addicted!!

May 7, 2008

Orange Crush

My trip, work and life in general has put me in the "lagger club" over at the newest mystery from Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville. I've had part 1- the four patches- done for quite some time so I shouldn't be lagging behind!! Here is a photo of step #1 . Since I work primarily in repros, is it any wonder my scraps are of the same?? I like how they turned out and hope that the fabrics I pulled from my stash for the yardage requirements will work with what Bonnie has come up with. We'll all just have to wait and see, no?

I have started step #2, and this is where I have stalled. I'm hoping to get back to work on the mystery in a few days. I'm keeping my fingers crossed- I don't want to fall too far behind!

I'm liking these too...and have a pretty good feeling about this all so far! Bonnie's quilts are always great, so I don't think I have much to worry about! Like the little engine that could, I keep telling myself: "I will catch up...I will catch up...I will....."

Wish me luck!


the photos (all 198 of them!) were picked up last night, the camera was cleared and today I took a few shots of my favorite purchases from this year's Paducah show vendors. The photos are not up to par, but I am sure those of you who are interested in reproductions and folk art will know exactly why I was drawn to these! First is my Hancock's purchase of a Fat Quarter bundle of gorgeous pinks and browns. I thought I was ready to move on to brown and blue until I saw this lonely bundle! It was one of 3 left in a big box...and I just "had to have it"! They are beauties from the Charleston collection by Marcus Brothers. The red FQ you see poking its head up in the back came from my stash of reds. I needed just one for the pattern that these will go'll see it in the photo as well- it is from Bonnie Blue Quilts- Appomattox Courthouse. I just have to look for a good brown in my stash for the sashing strips and then hunt out the perfect toile for the borders. I might have to consider home decorator fabric. It is the look I want and I'll wait til the "perfect" toile fabric appears.

Next is the newest book from Liberty Homestead. All the quilts were on display in their booth, and I fell in love with the brown and cream log cabin on the cover. I bought the brown and red (for the little star log cabin centers) hand dyed cottons from Liberty and the dyed muslin comes from Hancock's. The red behind the nicely tied grouping is a dull red from my stash of wools. It will be for the appliqued flowers in the border. I KNOW I have other Liberty Homestead books somewhere...just where is a mystery! I hope I can find them....

This is the little kit I bought from Lisa Bongean's Primitive Gatherings booth. Most of my group bought the kit- it was just so sweet. I love to decorate for the 4th of July so I hope to get to it very soon. I also bought a fabulous black wrought iron hanger with a single center star to hang the finished wall hanging from. Aren't the colors luscious...they are all wools except for the background and the pinwheel fabric. I am finding I am doing more and more wool applique and I truly love it.

But I think this is my all time favorite! Old St. Nick will fit right in with my collection of old world santas- many of which wear coats made of old quilts. The quilt is done all in flannels. Very folk arty...this is one book (Primitive Christmas) to make sure is on your list! It is full of wonderful projects, and I would like to make each and every one of them. Oh! Take a peek at the bottom of the page with the photo of the project...Nick Bongean is a huge Yankee fan and I had to get him to sign a "go Yankees" for me...seemed appropriate since I am a Yankee fan from w-a-y back, and then there is the whole south of the Mason Dixon line thing of course *smiles*!

And that is the end of show and tell for today!

May 5, 2008

Taking A Break!

I told myself that today would be the day that I would start re-organizing the sewing room. It is past chaotic and I can not work in it. Since I have to get 3 samples finished and should do it in the next week and a half, I have been moving the mess from one room to another. But the "piles" are neat and each is labeled as to what the intent is. I have a large laundry basket filled with fabrics to discard. Each year our shop has a staff stash sale. Our customers are happy and we are left with clean sewing rooms (or something in between!). I never remember when the sale is, but figure I'll be ahead of the game this year. I missed the sale last year, and heard from several disappointed customers who were looking for good folksy "stuff". I've already weeded through my books and patterns. Fabric is the last to go. Then I should have room for the new goodies-- so as you can see there was a method to my madness!
I will be picking up the huge order of show photos tomorrow. Once they are in hand, I can clear them from my camera. But since I know everyone likes photos I'll leave you with just a few! The first two I was given permission to take at the Reproduction Quilts booth. I bought the patterns for the Civil War quilt last year and rounded out my collected fabrics this year with the addition of borders and a few more half yards and Fat Quarters- you'll see those as soon as I get photographing once again. The third photo is one the gals at Bonnie Blue Quilts let me take. I caved in and bought the kit for My Old Kentucky Home. This is their sample hanging beautifully at the front of their booth in the vendor mall downtown. I've wanted to make this quilt for over a year now, and since I am not a very "blue" person, I don't have much in my stash. I just love, love, love this one and can't wait to be able to start it! It will be awhile...too much to accomplish in front of it!
Ahhhhh...well......guess it is back to the job at hand. Wish me luck...I'm going back in!

May 3, 2008

Still Playing Catch Up

I'm not sure I'll ever get there, but at least I'm trying! Thought I'd share some more of my week in Paducah and its surrounding area. Hard to believe that I was still in Kentucky just one week ago,even if I was getting ready to pack up and drive home to reality!

Kentucky Lake (where we rented a beautiful house) was so tranquil. The below photo shows the scene from the floor to ceiling doors that graced my bedroom. Since offspring #3 was coming to join me and the gang for two days, I was given the master suite. I think there was a fear we'd be talking etc. well into the night- and we of course did!

Here is a shot of the back of the house and it's upper deck:

Most of the house had those large doors overlooking one part of the lake or another. We shared our space with a lovely pair of geese who swam by very early each morning honking at each other like the best of married couples. They had nothing on the fishermen who sat patiently waiting for the trout to bite. We could see the ripples all over the lake - left behind by jumping fish. Best yet we were visited daily by a great Heron who loved to sit and survey the water from the boat launch at the end of our pathway to the lake.

This next photo was taken on Friday night (or was it Saturday?) in Downtown Paducah. It was prom night and this was just one of the carriages taking its turn around the area. I snapped his picture as we all sat outside the Wharf waiting for our table for dinner. Our meal was scrumptious to say the least!

Makes me kind of wish I was still enjoying my mini-vacation! but like Cinderella, the ball has to come to an end. Luckily, this wasn't too bad a week! But things will be getting hectic the next two weeks as we prepare for shop hop.

I've managed to download all 206 photos to my external hard drive. A walk down memory lane will be enjoyable. Then once they are burned to CD I can clear out the digital camera and take some photos of the purchases I made! Oh I was a bad girl...but it was sooo good!

Stay tuned.......

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