Category Archives: Home decor

Porches, Patterns and Pooches

Crazy week.  When you think life is crazy, it sometimes gets crazier.  Last week I thought the building of the porch was weeks away.  All of a sudden it started Tuesday.  Not the building, the knocking down.   I barely had time to feel bad about it.  Yesterday morning, Wednesday, I slept right through the builders and David knocking the bricks down with sledge hammers.  The men said David was like a mad man slinging his sledge hammer.  I looked out our front door and there was a big gap where the front of the porch use to be.  Now is not the time to back out of this project.



David looks like the unibomber with his black hoodie and his sledge hammer.  Oops, hope the government doesn’t read this.  Just kidding, government.  He had way too much fun tearing down the bricks.  See the old siding behind him?  Clapboard.  Probably the original siding of the house.  Also we discovered the original porch was only half as large as it is now.  And our new porch will be much larger.  Fourteen feet by twenty-five and a half feet larger.  The pillars are still standing for now, but they won’t be much longer.  It has poured rain today and suppose to tomorrow.  Be nice for the weekend, then rain again.  Of course, now that we have started a building project.  We have holes in our  walls where new switchplates and outlets go.  We have cracks in the livingroom walls from the old porch coming off.  Dave and I will have much patching and painting to do after this is all over.  I have found when you start a project, you always end up having more work than you planned to do even when you hire someone to do the work. Understand?


This is the roof of our porch.  Later this will be all gone and a new roof and exposed rafters will be here.  We will be able to sit on the porch when it is raining and listen to the rain hit the metal roof.  Maybe I should put a bed out here.





Mom, do my nostrils match??  Bonnie, we are not talking about your nostrils right now.  But, um, they do look a little funny.  Plastic surgery, maybe?



“Look at me and my ball!  Look at me and my ball!”

Belle, I know I haven’t played ball with you today.  You are going to have some little boys to play with you this weekend so you better rest up.

I escape to my shop while the builders are doing their thing.  I was looking for a certain pattern, but as I was looking, it was like walking down pattern memory lane.  Here are just a few of my vintage patterns.



I sewed a lot for my daughter while she was growing up or at least until she decided she liked “store bought” clothes better than Mom’s handmade ones.  I made her a long dress from this pattern in a pink cotton fabric.  Ran ribbon around the sleeves and through the eyelet in the chest area.



My daughter looked every bit as sweet as this girl in the picture.


Back when Little House on the Prairie was popular, this pattern came out and I made my daughter a dress out of calico with an eyelet trim like the plaid dress on the cover.



I may have that dress somewhere.  I saved a few of my daughter’s dresses because I just couldn’t stand to part with them.






One year one of my boys dressed as a clown for Halloween and I made the costume.  I remember it was a really fun costume to make.  Glad I still have the pattern.



I can’t believe I even tried making men’s and boys’ clothes.  I used this pattern to make one of my sons this outfit.  I don’t know if I still have the pattern or not, but one time I made my younger son slacks with a vest to match and he wore it to school and he came home and told me his teacher didn’t believe him when he said his mother made his outfit.



Back in the day when bell bottoms were the rage, I made David a pair.  Just like the white ones in the picture.  He wore them, too.  A lot.


I’ve been noticing bell bottoms are coming back.  They call them boot cut, but some of the pants’ bottoms are very flared, just like bell bottoms.  I use to wear bell bottoms.  I was a flower child.(without the drugs.)  Never have tried illegal drugs.  Never had a hankering to.



I loved this pattern.  I made my daughter a cute blue calico outfit like the center picture.  She looked so cute.



One day, when my daughter was in kindergarten, she came home and said, “Mommy, I am going to be a butterfly in the school play.”  My mind started racing. You mothers know what I am talking about.  Was I suppose to make the costume?  My daughter nodded, yes.  Oh, no.  My mother happened to be visiting and we rushed to JoAnn’s and looked through all the patterns and found this one.  Perfect.  I made the butterfly costume and people actually gasped when my daughter came on stage with her long, blonde hair, rosy cheeks, in a pink leotard and her beautiful, butterfly wings.  It was a wonderful moment and I can still see her.

My children sprang things like that on me all the time.  Once my younger son came home and said he had to dress like Thomas Edison.  How did Thomas Edison dress, anyway?  We got together what I thought was a fairly decent outfit.  What I didn’t know, because I was never told anything, (still not) but my son was the star of the show, The Electric Sunshine Man.  He had a huge speaking part and had to sing solos and I didn’t have a clue.  Thankfully, one of the mothers video taped it and gave me a copy and I still have it.  I just sat there in stunned disbelief that he had learned all those lines and I didn’t know he was doing it. Really, I was awake during their growing up years, but my children constantly surprised me.  Still do.



Just wanted to show you a catalog I got in the mail the other day.  I usually order clothes from this company, but they also sell other things.



I love this cherub sleeping in what looks like a larger angel’s wing.  How adorable is that?



They sell bedding to die for, but since this complete ensemble would probably cost about five hundred dollars, I won’t be getting it.



If I were a rich old maiden lady living all alone in a mansion, I would have stuff like this all around me.  I just love this romantic looking stuff, but David, not so much.  I have my girly room and that is fine with me.  But really, don’t you love these things?

Spring seems to be upon us although she was playing coy for quite some time and now she is throwing temper tantrums with thunderstorms, heavy rains and tonight, tornado watches.  But that’s Spring for you.  But have you noticed how green the grass is getting and that the daffodils are finally blooming?  Even the ones I have had to transplant look like they will bloom this year.



A bud on the weeping cherry tree is telling me that soon Spring is going to burst forth in all her glory.

It appears I am going to have a houseful of grandchildren this weekend for an overnight so I must rest up tonight, because once they get here it’ll be gang busters.

Here’s to porches, pooches, patterns and the promise of Spring.  Bye.



I don’t know why, but for the last couple of weeks I have been so sleepy.  I sleep until nine or ten in the morning and by mid afternoon I am sleepy again.  Maybe it’s been this extremely cold, damp weather we have been having that chills you right to the bone.

Last night  after supper, I was so cold I got three blankets and laid on the couch with them over me and fell asleep until ten o’clock.  Stayed up for a couple of hours, went to bed and slept until almost nine thirty this morning.  My mother would tell me I am sleeping my life away.  I kind of feel that way.



I wish I could be more like my dogs and not be ashamed I am sleeping so much.  They don’t seem to mind wasting away a whole day just snoozing.    Bonnie stays in my shop all day and doesn’t move a muscle for hours.  She doesn’t care what others might think.  Look at her, how peaceful she is.  By the way, she and Belle got new beds for my shop so now I let them in more often since they don’t get on the furniture anymore.  They are loving that.

It’s not that I haven’t been busy.  When I am awake my hours are full.  I just finished a Bible study, have been doing some Spring cleaning and have been cutting hundreds of two inch squares for a quilt I am making. It needs over two thousand squares.  As I cut them, I sew a few together.  I want to have this quilt pieced before hot weather gets here.  I’ve been taking care of the chooks.  They are beginning to lay more regularly now.  They might be getting some new friends later this summer if my daughter gets me the Austrolorps I want.    I’m too tired to download any pictures right now, but I will be showing you  what I have been up to soon.  I made a bunny garland today.   Just need to do some hand sewing on it.  If I can get out of this sleep funk, I will take some pictures.

We had some exciting news today.   Our contractor, Claude(He calls himself Bub) called us today and said he was ready to start work on our new front porch and put in some new windows.  I have told you our old porch on our hundred year old house is sinking and pulling away from the house causing cracks in the wall of our living room.  David said we had to replace the porch or the side of the house would be torn off eventually.  I don’t like that idea.  I kind of like to have walls between me and the elements.  Another winter like this one with a wall gone?   So, we are biting the bullet and getting the porch built.  It will go all along the front of our house instead of just halfway like the old one is now. It will have stone facings on the porch posts, a ceiling fan and tiffany like lights by the door. It will have low rise steps instead of the high steps it has now and railings down them so my friends and family won’t fall going up and down them.  I have seen people fall off our steps too many times.    If we have to do it, we are going to do it right and in style.

So now I have my work cut out for me.  I have dozens of flowers to move by next week.   If I don’t, I will lose them under the porch.  I guess I won’t be sleeping a lot for the next few days.

I am so ready for gardening, though.  David tilled the garden and we let the chooks in and they had a ball scratching and pecking at the newly turned soil.  I have dozens of tomato plants started and one pumpkin plant that is getting pretty big in its pot.  Hope warm weather will get here before it outgrows it.  I have flower seeds and gladiola bulbs and beans and squash, plus the rest of the pumpkin seeds to plant.  I can hardly wait to make that first trip to the nursery to buy more flower plants.  I am losing my porch flower box that David built me when the old porch goes, so I will have to plant hanging baskets now.

Now, if the weather will just cooperate and I can stay awake long enough, I may get something done.

Here’s to sleep, new porches and dreams of gardens.  Bye.

A Gathering of Quilts and Seeds

We spent a night in the beautiful hills of brown in Brown County this week.  We stayed at our daughter and son-in-law’s beautiful house in the woods.  You have to drive a long, long drive to get to their house.  It is surrounded by trees and this time of year it is so beautiful there.  Have I used the word beautiful enough???



I broke my camera and cannot use the zoom on it so you will have to use your x-ray vision to see the pygmy goats in their pen.  They can get out in the larger pen and I did let them loose and had a hard time getting out the gate because they wanted to come with me.

Anyway, for me it’s almost a vacation to go there.  We babysat our two youngest grandsons and had a fun time with them, then when they went to sleep, I sat out on their back deck and looked at the stars. They seemed so close and crystal clear out where there are no city lights to dim them.  I think I saw a star explode, if that is possible.  There was a bright, flash of light and then  it dimmed slowly.  Planes flying across the sky were more visible in the night sky.  All that could be heard were the cicadas in the trees.  Complete silence except for the passing of cars way down the hill.   Oh, and the baaing of the pygmy goats.

I have given my daughter several quilts in the past and she has hung them all over her house.  Here are a few.




I like how she used a tree branch to hold it.  I believe this is a Country Threads pattern.  We use to sell these in our store.


I really love this quilt, but it looks better in her house than it does in mine, although I would like to make another one.


  I had this log cabin fabric and it worked perfectly.


This block makes me thing of Alaska.


Kind of a blurry picture, but this is the double wedding ring I made for my daughter when she got married.    I have since made two more.  They are really easier than they look.


I called this Cardinal in the Pines. Do you see the cardinal?


As I tucked my grandsons into bed I saw the quilts I had made them for their beds.


I made this Double T quilt because my grandson’s name starts with T.

I also completed piecing a quilt from some quilt blocks a friend from church gave me.  Her mother or grandmother had pieced the blocks a long time ago from old fabric and feed sacks.


I really loved how this turned out.  Kind of Christmasy I think.  It made a pretty big quilt.


I love the old fabrics in it. This could have been someone’s dress at one time.


This fabric looks like fabric from pajamas that my brothers use to wear.  Just a side note.  When my brothers outgrew their pajamas, guess who they were handed down to?  Yes, I wore my brothers old pjs.  Funny thing was, I liked it.  The fabric was always so soft because they had been washed so many times and besides, I very rarely got new pajamas when I was younger.  I was a tomboy, though, so it didn’t bother me.


More pajama looking fabric.  The blocks were very uneven and I had to do some trimming to make it all come together, but I think it turned out well.


This time of year I gather seeds from flowers for next year’s garden.  I order zinnia seeds from Wild Flower Seeds out of Texas.  I usually get a pound of seed and I can have flowers all over my yard that way.  I like to mix the old seed with the new to get several varieties of zinnias.


I go through the garden picking off seeds like this and storing them until Spring.  I use to help my mother gather seeds when I was a girl.  I enjoyed doing it and Mother always had a beautiful garden.


I gather lots of Cleome seeds. These flower actually reseed themselves, but I like to spread them all over.  They are an old fashioned flower that has been around for a long time.  David does not like them because they always grow around the pool and lean over and drop their seed in the pool.  I did not plant many this year and I still had lots.


This would be several packets of seed for several dollars so I save by gathering the seed.


I gathered them in this little china cup from a tea set I bought at Walt Disney World one year.

Well, I have done nothing this morning but drink coffee, watch the news and quilt so I have got to get up and get moving.

Here’s to Brown County, saving seeds and quilts that make a home cozy.  Bye.


Autumn Decor and Dibs and Dabs

I love Autumn.  I love the word, Autumn.  I love the colors and the way the sunlight seems golden.  I love the cool nights when we throw the windows open wide and sleep deep sleeps in the cool, crisp air.  I love the almost too perfect days of blue skies and golden everything.

I also love to decorate for Autumn.  I have always felt our house was built for Autumn because it always looks it best this time of year.


I love that Halloween comes in October.  There are so many festivals and harvest celebrations in the Autumn.  This is the front table of my shop.  Those pumpkins are my very own pumpkins that I grew myself this year.  David made the wooden pumpkin.



A few years ago we traveled to New York to the finger lakes district and went through several  beautiful New England towns.  In one shop in one of the towns they were selling wooden jack-o-lanterns.  They were kind of expensive and David said,  “I could make them.”  And he came home and made two for me and one for each of our kids and I painted them.   They light up at night.  I tell David he could make these and sell them.


These are more of my pumpkins.  I am already planning to grow pumpkins again next year.   I really like the white ones.   There is a scarecrow sitting just opposite these pumpkins, but I forgot to take a picture of him.  I’ll show you later.


See how golden everything looks in our house?  I picked these hydrangeas and sedum and lamb’s ear to make a dry flower arrangement.   Okay, you don’t see the golden?  My picture just does not do the light coming in our house justice.


I strung a garland of leaves I made across the kitchen window.




Just a few things I have made to decorate for Autumn.


The Autumn sedum is especially pretty this year.


The squirrels are gathering nuts and other food for winter.  This one is pretty plump.  Looks like he/she has been eating very well.  I put out cobs of corn and the whole cobs disappear.  Somewhere in some tree a squirrel has a lot of corn stored away.


Of course we always have candy corn or candy pumpkins out.  David is the only one who eats them.  I don’t really like them.  Does that make me bad?



I got a Yankee Candle catalog this week and was astounded that they had a candle scented like turkey and stuffing.  The catalog has scratch and sniff places in its pages and this candle smells very strongly of sage.   They also have Sweet Potato Pie scent and Cranberry Sauce scent.  I don’t know how they do it, but the scents are very close to the real thing.

A few weeks ago David laid a cement pad just outside the new door in my shop and two of my grandsons and David and I put our handprints in it.











Our other grandchildren will have to put their handprints on with paint and then I will seal the cement for all eternity or until the cement falls apart or I fall apart, whichever comes first.  It startles me that my grandsons’ hands are almost as big as mine.




I haven’t posted any pictures of our dogs for a while.  Please excuse Belle.  She forgot her manners and stuck out her tongue.

Here’s to Autumn, pumpkins, cool evenings, and naughty pups.  Bye.