Category Archives: Sewing

The Week Between

Santa has hung up his hat for another year.

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There really ought to be a name for the week between Christmas and New Year’s.  I mean, you just spent weeks in a wild scramble to decorate, buy gifts, wrap the gifts, plan a special meal, attend a Christmas cantanta, do some partying if you are so inclined and then Christmas comes and all the gifts are opened, the family comes, the family goes and in a few hours, it’s over.  I spent the day after coming down from a complete high.  Nothing to hurry to get done.  No cleaning to do. No where to go.  Ahh, sweet, sweet nothingness.   Sleep in, read, knit just for the enjoyment.  Work on a new little project I was chomping at the bits to start before Christmas.  But I still felt a little lost. Like something was missing.  The week of nothingness.   I just wish Christmas had  lasted longer.  And all the tv has is reruns.  Glad we have Netflix, but we finished the final show in the series of Longmire, which had quickly become my favorite show on television.  I understand there will be a sixth season of it so will have to wait until it comes on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it and like good stories, good acting, handsome men and the west, you will love it.  Lou Diamond Phillips is in it and he’s a hunk and the star, Robert Taylor isn’t bad either. (Hope David doesn’t read this!)  If we didn’t have Netflix, we probably would not watch much tv.  I am trying to cut back and do more reading.  I’ve put several books on my Kindle.  Does anyone else who has Kindle feel like they read faster than when reading from a book?   I feel like I fly through books now.  I got Kindle Unlimited because I was buying so many books.  Now I can read as many as I want for the price of one book.   There is an author I discovered, George Mahood, who has written books about things he has done like bicycle from the bottom tip of England to the top tip of Scotland with no money, no bicycle and no clothes, except the shorts he had on.  No bicycle, you ask?  You will have to read the book.  He and a friend did it in three weeks with absolutely no money in their pockets.  He wrote a book about a trip he took through the United States which was really good and made me love my country even more. That book was called, “Not Tonight, Josephine.”  You will have to read it to find out who Josephine is.  It’s nice when someone from another country says so many nice things about my country.  Another book he wrote was about different holidays no one has ever heard of before and he tried to celebrate one each day of the year.  Did you know that January 2 is cats’ new year?  It’s called Happy Mew Year. If you want to laugh out loud, read one of his books.

We are the grandparents of four brand new golden retriever puppies.  Our daughter’s dog had them on my grandson’s, her son’s birthday.  What a gift.  We haven’t seen them yet, but hope to see them this week.  I will get some pictures to show you.

Now that the new year is here, I am planning.  One of the things that makes life worth living, is to have something to look forward to. I read that somewhere.  Someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to.  I have been blest all my life with all three.     I am always planning. I have known friends who were still making plans on their deathbed.  I think that is the human condition.  We make plans.  Of course, life almost never goes as we plan it which is what makes it so interesting.

This Christmas almost everyone got socks that I had hand knitted.  It became a running joke as each person opened a package and there were socks.  My youngest grandson looked at me with a worried look and said, “Grandma, I hope I’m not getting socks!”   He didn’t.  All the younger boys got train sets this year. And Nerf guns with plenty of Nerf bullets.

Here is a picture of those who got socks this Christmas, or at least their feet.

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From the leftover yarn I am knitting patchwork socks.  I already have a pair ready for next Christmas!

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Yes, it was a sock year.

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Once you have worn hand knitted sock, you never want to go back to store bought.  They are warm and comfy and stretchy.  One year I bought a couple of pair of socks from the Ralph Lauren store that were really cute, but when I got them home, they had absolutely no stretch in them.  I could barely get them over my heels.  Sad, too, because they were really, really cute.  I have no trouble getting hand knit socks on and off.  I hope they last longer than store bought socks also.

Not to say we have been doing nothing this week.  I made a big pot of potato soup with jalapeno and cheese sausages.

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David and I spent a quiet New Year’s Eve. We went to an Italian restaurant and ate dinner. That night while watching one of the New Year’s shows I suddenly got hungry for pancakes.  “I’ll make some, ” David said.  And he did.

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With strawberry preserves and whipped topping.  Yum.  What better way to end one year and start the next.  I just said we were having breakfast extra early.

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The project I have worked on this week were these little trees  Patchwork pines.  Tattered Trees.  They are  the creation of Ann Wood, a blogger I just discovered who makes the cutest things out of used things, paper machine and  anything she can find.  She provided the pattern for these for free.  I, of course, could not make just one and ended up with a little forest of them.

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Then I put them with little houses my daddy had made years ago and made a little village on our mantle.

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With kissing Grandpa and Grandma, of course.  Ha.

Besides all the other things going on, we had three birthdays in December and on Christmas day we celebrated our youngest grandson’s eighth birthday.  It’s hard for me to think he is already this old. Just seems he was born and he’s half grown almost.

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I made him a cake with a banner with his name on it.

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He seemed happy with it.

And just because we have nothing else to do, David and I started a puzzle this week.

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I ordered this from the Current catalog months ago and we said we’d wait until after Christmas to start it.  It is really a fun and interesting puzzle to do.  Not sure about the marijuana leaves on it, but some states have legalized it.  Even though I was a teen and a college student in the sixties, I can honestly say I have never tried marijuana  and don’t plan to start.  I have always been careful about the drugs that go into my body.  I don’t like taking aspirins too well, but will if necessary.

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This is a pretty big puzzle.  I like how the light is shining on it right now.

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Spread out on two tables. David is really the puzzle maker in our house.  I get impatient and frustrated after a while and have to leave. David will sit for hours working on it and he is not intimidated by all the white pieces in this puzzle.

Well, we don’t know what this year will bring.  Just living it one day at a time and trying to enjoy every moment.  I hope January goes really slow.  We will have a presidential inauguration and David’s birthday on the same day.  That will be fun.

This is the year I am going to start walking again  I was up to five miles a day a couple of years ago and then I hurt both my legs at different times and it was hard to walk a mile without pain, so, this is the year I am going to try to get back to walking again.   I will start slow with a mile or so and work up from there.  I will keep you posted and maybe you would like to start this journey with me.  After all, a journey begins with just one step.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flower Child

I was a flower child long before it became popular.  Not the kind of flower child who did drugs or danced naked in the fields at Woodstock.  My mother grew beautiful flowers in her garden and every year I helped her gather the seeds for next year’s flowers.  She also loved African violets and my father made her a little window greenhouse in the kitchen where she grew some of the most beautiful African violets.  She could have won prizes for her flowers, but she grew them just because she loved them.

In the Summer my daddy would put me in the car with a few buckets and a shovel and we would drive down to the river where daddy would dig up sand and put it in the buckets to take back home to put in my sand pile.  While he was doing that, I was pulling up flowers(weeds) to take home and plant in my sand pile.  They didn’t last long, of course, but for a short time I had my very own garden.  I was always looking at the flower catalogs Mother would get.  I would go with her to the greenhouse where she purchased flowers for her porch boxes.   The man who owned the greenhouse knew my mother by name as she was a regular customer and came back every year.  I loved walking down the rows of flowers and choosing the ones I liked in my mind.  My Mother would buy a flat of flowers and bring them home and plant her porch boxes.  I can’t remember a time she didn’t have porch boxes planted when I lived at home.

Now I have gardens of my own and can plant whatever I want.  I still love going to a greenhouse and looking at all the flowers.  I love the smell inside a greenhouse.  The smell of fresh dirt and flowers is the best scent in the world. Wish they could make a perfume of it.  I probably already smell like that about every day in the Spring when I am outdoors planting and digging and dividing the flower clumps.   Today I finally got everything planted, I think, although I did see a corner in my kitchen garden that has only one flower planted there.  We cut down a redbud tree last year and I haven’t filled in the space yet, evidently.  Time to buy more flowers!

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So, come into my garden and see just a few of the flowers that are growing there.

Irises!  One of my favorite flowers because you can’t kill them and they multiply year after year without you doing anything at all.   I told a friend of mine I even mowed my irises down in the Autumn and she thought I was crazy.   But, I do, and every year, they come up bigger and better than ever.

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One of my favorites.  One day a couple of years ago, a man stopped by our house and asked if he could have a start of these irises, so I dug up one for him and asked him if he had any flowers he would like to share.  He did!  He brought me some lilac bushes and I planted them and one of them is doing well.

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These are becoming one of my favorite flowers now. Digitalis or Foxgloves.  They reseed themselves and are biennials so I should have some every year.  I have planted their seed everywhere and bought more plants, too.  You see, I am making my garden self sustaining so that one day, when or if I cannot plant or work in it anymore, the flowers will take care of themselves.

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One of David’s mother’s rosebushes.  It is doing so well now.  For a while, I thought I had killed it, but with loving care, it has come back and has a lot of blooms.  The roses smell just like roses should smell.  I have two of these bushes.  I feel so blessed.  Another reason I can never leave this house.  I have too many flowers from family members that grow all around my garden.  I think of those people every year when the flowers bloom.  Flowers like David’s grandmother’s sixty year old clematis, her snowball bushes, my mother’s day lilies and these roses.  It’s a family garden for sure.

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These poppies were started from Grandma Henley’s( David’s grandma) garden.  She had a beautiful garden behind her house and these grew profusely.  I remember her squatting in her garden, her knees up to her ears,  weeding the flowers until she was almost ninety years old.  She also grew the best rhubarb behind her outhouse!

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I planted two new Asiatic lilies.  I have ordered more Irises and peonies to be planted in the Autumn.   Nope, can’t have enough flowers.

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Speaking of peonies, they are starting to bloom now.  They are my very favorite flower.  They are beautiful and smell wonderful.  The only thing is, they just don’t last long enough.

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I have them in red, white, pink and pink and white.

Flowers are not the only things that have been on my mind.  You remember my sock journey?

I have become obsessed with sock knitting now that I kind of understand the process.  I still don’t like the double pointed needles at the end when decreasing the toe.  That is when everything goes all wrong all at once if I don’t pay special care or I get interrupted.  Which is why I only try to knit them when David is at work.    I am trying to figure out another way to decrease the toes.  Every sock has been an experiment in knitting.

    I do have a finished pair now.  My grey socks.

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I got a little carried away with the second sock and it’s a tad longer than the first one, but no one will notice when I have them on as they are slouchy and loose.  Made out of wool and acrylic, they will be warm to wear next Winter.

I have purchased several circular needles so that I could have different socks going at all times.  I just ordered more needles and sock blockers.  This hobby is becoming expensive!  Now, I drool over yarn like I have drooled over fabric for years.   There are so many yarn companies and so many beautiful yarns to choose from.

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I really love this yarn.  It isn’t exactly a stripe, but there are variegated partial stripes throughout the sock.

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Ready for the dreaded toe decrease on another sock.

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This winter I plan to have a lot of different socks to wear and I am going to try to knit socks for family members if I can figure out how to make them smaller and larger.

It isn’t true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks because I am living proof you can.  I never thought in a million years I could learn to knit socks, but I persevered and finally accomplished it.

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I hadn’t been in my shop for weeks because of the sock making, but today I went out and started a new purse.  I wish I could tell you where I got this pattern.  I got it online and I have made so many purses from this pattern.   Several people carry my purses.   I call this one my garden purse.

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I have this fabric that has country words on it, so I cut out some of the words and sewed it on my purse.

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I’m really loving making this purse.  I’ve done some embroidery on it and will soon have it completed.   Just give me an afternoon.

Hope you are enjoying these wonderful May days.  They are going by so quickly. I wish I could wrap one day up and take it out in the middle of the Winter and enjoy it once again.

Here’s to flower children and those who love them.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

The Needle Arts

From the day that my mother first handed me a needle and an old sock and told me to make a doll, I have been interested in the needle arts.  I still have that sock doll somewhere.   From sewing machines needles to knitting needles to quilting needles I have been interested in making things with needles. My year started out with my trying my hand at knitting socks. I have made three false starts and now I am once again trying to knit a sock.

I purchased this book in hopes it would walk me through the dreaded heel. I have not started the heel yet and to tell you the truth, I am very worried about it.

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I’m practicing on a sock with inexpensive wool.  I am liking how it looks so far.

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I ordered this beautiful yarn from this place…

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It’s so beautiful, I am almost afraid to use it.  But won’t these make wonderful socks?

I have never ordered wool like this and I have never rolled balls of yarn before and it took a village to get it done.  If I had tried to figure out how to find the end of the yarn in these skeins, I would have been left with a  knotted up mess, but David helped me and we ended up with this..

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You know how in some of those old movies you would see the husband holding the yarn in both hands while the wife wound the ball?  That is what David and I did.  One skein down, four more to go.  One skein is suppose to knit up a pair of socks.

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Remember the socks I was knitting a few days ago and ripped out?

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Now they are a scarf, but I would much rather have had a pair of socks to show you. Someone will be getting a scarf for Christmas next year.  Ha.  I can do scarves with my eyes closed.  Maybe that is what I am doing wrong.  Not closing my eyes while I knit socks.  What a catastrophe that would be!

I’m not the only one who can ply a needle.

I wanted to learn how to crochet and David found me one of his crochet hooks and started casting on and before we both knew it, he had crocheted this….

 

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He used up some of my old yarn and wore this to work.  He got several compliments on it.  At least one of us is good with the needle.   I still haven’t learned how to crochet.  But it’s on my bucket list.

I licked my wounds after the sock debacle and went back to what I knew I could do.  Quilting. This first week of January I have already completed two quilts.

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This is one I started a couple of years ago and wanted to finish it before Valentine’s Day this year and I did!   This is made with Pamkitty Love fabric which I love.

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Love the look of old fashioned Valentines.

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Another quilt I completed was made from the book, Little Quilts All Through the House.  A book I had had for several years and lost and just last week I ordered it on Amazon for under ten dollars and am so glad I did.  I have made so many little quilts from this particular book in the past years and this week I made another one.

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Another quilt for Valentine’s Day.  This one made up so fast and I absolutely love it.

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I love fabric with words upon it and this is the border to this particular quilt.

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Has a French look about it.    Anyway, I feel a little better that I completed a project once again as I have been rather discouraged about all the sock knitting failures.   I will knit socks.  I won’t give up.

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This is part of a new project I just started this week also.  It’s going to have quilting, embroidering, and applique on it.  I am making this to wear for Valentine’s Day.  I am so excited because it is my own creation and no one will have anything like it when I am completed.  All these ideas just creep into my mind and suddenly I just have to create.  I put everything else aside when the creative juices start flowing.  Must be like the feelings Picasso, Monet and other artists must have felt like when they created their great art, not that anything I make is great art, but it’s my art and I love it.   I will be showing my creation as soon as I get it completed.

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Alas, the day came to take down the Christmas tree.  It’s never as exciting as putting it up although I do enjoy having more room again, but I sure will miss the bright lights and cheer the tree brought into our home.

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Putting away all our much loved ornaments.  We didn’t put as many decorations on the tree this year, but it was just right and looked really pretty.

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I will look forward to seeing these again next Christmas.

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All my snow people watched with interest as we stored all the Christmas paraphernalia away.  They seemed to be saying, “Phew, we get to stay out another month or two because we are snow people.”

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This little guy joined the others this year.

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A friend gave me this wonderful Jim Shore snowman several years ago.  He is my favorite snowperson.  Shhhh, don’t tell the others.

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This little lady joined my Jim Shore collection this Christmas as a gift to me and she stands on a shelf in the kitchen.  The person who gave her to me said it was me with all the cooking and baking I do.  I took that as a compliment.   I love her.

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This is my new exercise ball my daughter and son-in-law gave to me for Christmas.  Every time I went to their house I would bounce on my daughter’s exercise ball and say, ” I would love to have one of these,” and she listened to me.   It’s good for core exercise and balance.  My daughter has MS and uses it to help her balance.   I love bouncing on it.  Feel like a kid again!

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I got this really great poster of butterflies last Fall when we were in Fredricksburg, Texas at Wildseed Farms.  Don’t know how I am going to display it yet, but I love looking at it and reading about all the different butterflies.  So many beautiful ones.

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I’ve seen a few of these in our garden.

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And last but not least, I bought a couple of inexpensive journals at JoAnn’s the other day.  I love writing in journals when I am not writing here.  There is something about putting words on paper.  I go back to some of my old journals that tell about some of our trips, family gatherings and other things and find it such a joy to read about the good times and even some of the not so joyful times because none of us gets to live a life free of pain or sorrow.  But, all in all, we have lived a pretty good life, Dave and I and I hope I can fill many more journals.

Hope you will be creative this year.  If not, I hope you get to enjoy something from a creative person.  Here’s to needles and yarn and thread and creative juices.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

Fabric Love

I love fabric.  The feel of it.  The different textures.  Sewing on it.  Ironing it.  I love everything about fabric.  I especially love when I order fabric and it arrives in a brown box just waiting to be opened like a Christmas present.  I got some fabric in the mail the other day.

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Yummy colors.

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Beautiful colors.

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I played with the fabric, putting it into a pretty bowl a friend had given me.  The fabrics coordinated with the bowl almost like it was planned.

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Folded and unfolded and folded again.  Such a simple pleasure.  You fabric fanatics know exactly what I am talking about.  Those who don’t, think I’m nuts.

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Launder the fabric and let it set on the ironing board for a few days so I can look at it.  Looking forward to ironing it.   Haven’t a clue what I will make with it yet, except for one yard of it, but that’s the fun of it.

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I’m leaning toward pastels and lighter colors lately.

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Vintage looking fabrics.

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I have plans for this cute little crab fabric.

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I always love fabric with words upon it.

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Remember when I did this to the ceiling of my shop?

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I painted over a hundred 2 by 2 boards to be nailed onto the ceiling.

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I have been painting barn quilts to put on the front of our house.  This is one of them.

Did you watch the lunar eclipse this week?  It was amazing.  It was also the blood moon.  We got some good pictures of it as it was happening.

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Amazing and almost spiritual in its beauty and wonder.

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Who could see this and say there is no God?   I stand amazed.

And God made two great lights.; the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also.

And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from darkness: and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:16-18.  It is good.  Bye.

Knee Deep in Summer

I love Summer. Always have.  My first memories of Summer is playing with my brothers in the yard on the swing set I believe Daddy had built.  It was made of wood which is why I believe he built it. I would sit in a swing on that swing set waiting for the school bus to bring my brothers and sister home from school.  Under the big walnut tree, swinging back and forth and watching for the yellow school bus.  Then when I got to go to school, I looked forward to Summers and all the freedom we had as children on the farm to play and explore and help Daddy and Mother with chores and gardening.

I remember one Summer strolling down the gravel road to my sister’s , who lived just about a quarter of a mile from our house, singing “June is Busting Out All Over” from the musical State Fair.  Dogs walking beside me about half way and then they would turn back and go home.  We always had dogs which is why I think I love dogs so much.  Mother did not have to worry about anything happening to me with the dogs along.  My sister lived across from a big woods and anytime I went to visit her, I always made sure I was home before it got dark because the woods spooked my at night.  I just knew something or someone would run out of them and catch me.

Summer was picking strawberries in the garden, gathering eggs,  helping Daddy with the hay bailing by helping put the bales in the big red barn.  He would drive the tractor and wagon stacked with hay bales in through the big center doors of the barn and my brothers would throw the bales up into the hayloft.  I would help by dragging the bales to where they were to be stacked using a kind of hook to grab the bales.  Summer was hours of badminton,  weeding in the garden, playing with new kittens in the barn, playing baseball in the barnyard and taking hikes with my brothers.  It was time for swinging in the porch swing kicking it back and forth as I read a library book.  Playing hide and go seek and kick the can and battle stations( a game my brothers made up where we ran  every time we saw a car coming down our road.) Oh, Summers were wonderful.  It was catching lightening bugs in jars and taking the jar to my bedroom at night and watching them flicker off and on.  It was swimming in the little pond my brothers made by damming up a little stream that ran through my Daddy’s woods.  I never thought of snakes or anything else in the water, it just was fun to play in it. It was playing Davy Crockett at an old cabin behind Daddy’s farm where my brothers and their friends threw walnuts at each other as I hid in the cabin pretending they were Davy Crockett fighting the Indians.

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My mother was a gardener and I got the gardening gene from her.  I love the flowers of Summer.

We have had so much rain the flowers have grown big and blowzy  all over the back yard.  See the new fence David is building to keep Molly Marshmallow out of the garden?  It almost disappears with all the flowers around it

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Bonnie stays near the water bucket on these hot Summer days.  She is twelve years old this Summer.   Seems like we just got her as a pup.

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And what does Miss Molly Marshmallow have in her mouth?  I hope it isn’t another baby rabbit.  She keeps all wildlife out of our backyard which probably is a good thing with all the flowers and vegetables growing there.

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It’s pretty big, isn’t it?

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It’s her chew bone that weighs about two pounds and she carries it around like it was nothing, but as long as she is chewing on it, she isn’t chewing on something she mustn’t.

Because it has been raining so much, I have had some time in my shop working on a few projects.

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This barn quilt.

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A chicken in the barn door.

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Chickens marching across my shop.

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And more chickens.

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I especially love this polka dot chicken.  Everyone needs a polka dot chicken.

 

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Or two.

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I bought a retractable clothes line, they call it a dryer. Ha.  Just have to find some place to hang it now.  I have yearned for the smell of sheets fresh off the line on our bed for a long time.  I will just have to hang them where Molly Marshmallow cannot get to them.

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I baked bread the other day in tiny loaves.  Six of them.  Three were regular bread and the other three were these….

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Cinnamon bread.  Yum, yum and yum.  It didn’t last long around here with David’s sweet tooth, or mine for that matter.  I plan to bake again this Saturday.

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I will leave you with a picture of a big spider web that was built at the top of our back door.  Big enough for David to walk into.  And a poem.

COBWEBS

By E.L.M. King

Between me and the rising sun,

This way and that the cobwebs run;

Their myriad wavering lines of light

Dance up the hill and out of sight.

 

There is no land possesses half

So many lines of telegraph

As those the spider-elves have spun

Between me and the rising sun.

Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rhubarb, textiles and a Really Cute Quilt Book

Enjoying your Summer?   I am enjoying it so much, except for the really hot days that seem to sap all my energy.  We are going to be in the nineties for the next few days and I am not looking forward to it.  That is possibly why I love Alaska so much.  I was never hot while I was up there.

We have had a bumper crop of rhubarb this year.  For years I tried growing it, but never seemed to be able to until the last three or four years and now it is growing very well indeed.  We had rainy, cool weather earlier, which rhubarb loves, and it grew and grew. I think all the chicken poo and composted cow manure I put on it last fall helped too.  I have made rhubarb pies before, but this year I tried something different.  Rhubarb and strawberry crunch.  I have used this recipe for years to make apple crunch.   Now it is David’s and my favorite way to eat rhubarb.  Here is how you make it.

First you go out in your garden and cut several stalks of rhubarb.

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Wash it well and then cut it up into small pieces.

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Doesn’t look like much after this, does it?  But then you do this.

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You get these luscious strawberries that your husband found at Aldis and wash and quarter them.

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You mix them all together with sugar.  I used one and a half cups for two pies.

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I also mixed in about a half cup of flour to thicken it because rhubarb makes a lot of juice when it is cooking.  I think I could have added just a little more, but David says he likes the juice.

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Then you get out your pfaltzgraf? pie plates.  Don’t have any?  Well, just any ol’ pie plate will do.  I spray canola oil in them, but you can butter them if you want to add even more calories.

Now for the crunch part.

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Mix one and 1/2 half cups of flour,  3/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 tsp. of salt,  one tsp. of baking powder together.

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Take two of your disproportionate eggs that you found under your free range chickens.  Don’t have chickens?  Any chicken eggs will do.   Break them into the flour mixture and stir with a fork until well mixed.  Then add 1/2 cup of canola oil.  (Do not use olive oil in this.)  I have always used canola oil so that is the only thing I can tell you will work.

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Your dough will cling together which is exactly what you want it to do.

Now here is the tricky part.(Or not, but you may think it is.)

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After filling your pie plate.  And I mean full, you pat the dough all over the top of it with your bare hands.  Try to cover everything.  You will think you don’t have enough dough, but it will cover it all if you work at it.

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Now it is ready to bake.  Wait a minute.  I like to sprinkle sugar over the top as this is not sweet enough yet.   When I make apple crunch, I sprinkle both sugar and cinnamon on the  top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 to 45 minutes or until top is golden brown and dry to touch.

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Now I doubled this recipe because I had enough rhubarb to make two pies.  Doesn’t this look yummy?  Sorry, both of these are gone already.  We had company and someone really loved this enough to eat two helpings.   It’s really so good.

If you have been reading my blog for even a short time, you know I love fabrics.  I have been in love with textiles ever since I was a girl when I sewed my first doll from an old sock my mother gave me.  I have been in search of fabrics and things to make with it ever since.

I also love ironing.  I was cleaning out a dresser this week and found some old handkerchiefs I forgot I had.  I have collected old handkerchiefs for years and have a lot of them.

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I washed them and ironed them.  I love to iron.  Yes, I know, I am a throwback, a crazy woman, someone you must think has too much time on her hands.  There is just something about taking a wrinkled piece of cloth and making it smooth.

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How could I have forgotten these beautiful handkerchiefs?  How could women blow their noses on them?  They use to, you know.

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Also found some curtains I bought at an auction years ago.  I think I will hang these in my shop.

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I washed and ironed this fabric I have had for years that we sold in our quilt shop years ago.  I am working on doll quilts and this will be the backing for some.

 

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I am using a lot of 2 and 1/2 inch blocks for these doll quilts.

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I got this perfectly darling, wonderful quilt book in the mail the other day.  I have been looking at it a lot the past few days.  There are so many wonderful projects in it.

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It is written by this very talented lady.  I have been reading her blog for years and she has written some of the cutest quilt patterns and designed some really pretty fabric.   She is a farm girl like me and her book is right down my alley.

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Sorry for the poor quality of my pictures, but if you can see, this is a really, really cute barn quilt.   Inside each block is another smaller block where the barn door should be.  I am loving this.

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This is another version and this is the one I am working on now.

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This is another one.  There are many quilt blocks to make.  Boy, am I going to have fun.

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This is my  attempt at my first barn quilt block.   A lot of tiny pieces.  This is going to be FUN. Did I already say that?  You are probably thinking, this girl needs to get out more.  No, I just love quilting and cute patterns like this.

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Oh, oh, oh, look at this darling chick quilt made with one of the six inch block patterns.  What a cute baby quilt this would be.

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This pattern was worth the entire cost of the book for me.  A chicken quilt.  I have made a chicken quilt before, but this one in pastels is just so, so, have I said cute enough?  This one will get made by me.

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Here are a lot of 1and 1/2 inch squares cut ready to make this six inch block.

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Inserted into a barn block this will be, well, CUTE!!  Have I gushed enough about this book and the cute patterns?  I am just so glad I decided to buy this pattern book.  It has already given me hours of happiness.

Now to the garden.  My vegetable garden already looks like a weed patch although you can see the tomatoes, pumpkins and sunflowers above the weeds.  I go out occasionally and pull a few weeds and a few hundred more grow up to take their place.  I have never seen weeds come up and grow so fast before.

My flower gardens give me so much pleasure.  In my little kitchen garden(kitchen garden used loosely as the only edible plants growing in it is the rhubarb.)

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I am not sure what this is called anymore, but I know it just keeps spreading more each year.

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Hiding among the foliage I found this lily reaching for the sun.   Behind it is perovskia and love in the mist.  This garden holds mostly blue flowers and this lily stands out like a sore, but pretty, thumb.

Here’s to rhubarb crunch, textiles and a quilt book that sends me over the moon.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Textiles and Me Part2

Yes,  I love textiles.  There is something about walking aisles of fabric stores looking at all the beautiful fabrics, feeling their softness and silkiness.  There are fabrics for every taste, every color in the rainbow.  I feel the same way about yarns although I don’t use yarns very often.

Since Spring is coming(I hope) and I don’t plan on spending time in my shop sewing when the weather is warm, I have been sewing up a storm the last few weeks. I found fabrics I had forgotten I had and brought out some of the fabrics I purchased recently and began sewing.

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This is a skirt I just finished.  I paired it up with a little bolero jacket I made a couple of years ago.

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I used a handkerchief for its pockets.

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I made this skirt and paired it with a top I bought last year and a shrug I bought several years ago.   I love going through my closet and finding things I haven’t worn for a long time and find they go with something else.  I like wearing shrugs or bolero jackets because I am five foot one and long jackets just don’t look good on me.   I can’t believe I am five foot one. I feel about six inches taller.  Really.  But my doctor says that’s how tall I am so I can’t argue with him.

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This is the dress I wrote about a while back.  The one that I am not sure I like how it fits.  It may be because I am not used to wearing fitted dresses or fitted anything for that matter. I will buy clothes one and two sizes too big because I can’t stand anything close to my body.  This little bolero jacket is kind of a different shape also.  We shall see how much I wear this.  I love the fabric though.

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I just fell in love with this fabric.  Kind of wish I had made another skirt from it.  Maybe I will do some changing to the dress later.

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I put the quilt I hand quilted on our bed this week for warm weather.  Then it got cold again.

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I made these pillow cases from feed sack material.  I told David these are just for show as I don’t think these would hold up to washing after washing.  I do love how they go with the quilt.

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This is what I am wearing Easter Sunday.  I am also wearing a hat. I want to start a hat revolution.  Too many women tell me they don’t think they look good in hats.  I think it’s just because when they wear a hat, they are usually the only one wearing one and feel like everyone is looking at them.  If more would wear hats, then no one would think anything about it.  As it is now, if I wear a hat, someone always says something about it because it is a rarity.  I love hats and want to see them come back.  My mother had so many hats.  One day I will show you some of them which I have, of course.  I also have a little hat I wore when I was a little girl.

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I’m loving my purse.  This pattern is so easy.

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Now I will talk about Miss Molly Marshmallow.  Look at what she is doing to poor Bonnie.  Sitting on her head.  I know it’s a sign of dominance, but I wish Bonnie would bite her on the behind just once.  This is how she sits.   Like a queen on her throne.  David and I have been seriously talking about changing her name to Termite because this dog eats wood.  She brings up whole logs from the wood pile and gnaws through them.  She pulls branches off trees and chews them.  And I told you about the big hole she chewed into our house almost clear through to the inside.  David was not a happy camper about that and words like, “That dog is gong to find itself in a new home,” to ” Something has to be done about that dog,” were being said.  I was close to tears.  But, David repaired the hole and so far, Molly has not chewed the house anymore.  I think she may have heard what David was saying.  She is getting spayed in a week and I am hoping that will settle her down a bit.  Poor baby.

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Here are two eggs David gathered today. See the little one?  See the jelly bean?  What in the world happened with that chicken???  Smallest egg we have gotten since the hens all started laying.  Must have been a bad day.

Here’s to fabric, dog sitting dogs and tiny eggs.  Life is always interesting. Bye.

Textiles and Me

For as long as I can remember, I have loved textiles and sewing.  My mother gave me an old sock when I was very little and I laboriously hand sewed a little doll from it.  I still have that doll and if I can find it, I will show it to you one day.  I played with that doll, drew a face on it and enjoyed it for a long time.  It wasn’t like I didn’t have other dolls.  I got a doll every Christmas and had a whole family of them, but because I had made this doll, it was special to me. I have been sewing with needles since I could hold one in my hand and know what to do with it.

I remember Mother getting a new Singer sewing machine one year.  She was so proud of that machine and it is on that machine I learned to sew.  Plus having six years of Home Economics where I learned to sew clothes and drapes.  I remember Mother sewing clothes for me.  It was so fun for me to go to JC Penney’s with her and pick out the fabric and coming home and helping to cut out an outfit and Mother sewing it.  I remember a plaid dress,  a red and white dotted swiss dress with a big velvet sash(that I wore to the Ruth Lyons television show in Cincinnati)  and several other outfits.  I always had to have new clothes for the beginning of school, for Easter, for Christmas and other times.  Mother made most of them.  I also got hand me downs from my cousins in Detroit who had very expensive clothes.  To tell you the truth, I didn’t like wearing hand me downs except for my brothers’ pajamas.  Yes, I wore my brothers’ hand me down pajamas and was proud of it.

When I got old enough to be in 4-H I learned to embroider and to do Huck weaving.  I sewed a pillow cover and a dresser scarf(do people use dresser scarves any longer?)  and made dish towels with Huck weaving on them.  I still have those towels.  Yes, I don’t get rid of anything.

The love of textiles grew as I grew. In seventh grade I had a Home Economics teacher, Miss Glunt.  She wore dresses to her ankles and those old lady black shoes you see in old movies.  Her hair was always in a neat bun.  She was a stickler for doing things right.  You had to rip out anything she didn’t think was done properly.  I sewed a Kelly green straight skirt with a matching jacket and a green and white printed blouse in her class.  We had a style show and I was so proud to model that outfit.  In later years I sewed several outfits in Home Ec. One year my very best friend and I went shopping and bought the exact same material, a floral pique and bought the same pattern and we made matching dresses and we got to model them together in the  style show that year.   Now that’s friendship when you are willing to wear the same outfit together!

One year I modeled an empire waist dress.  I remember feeling so beautiful in that dress.  Kind of like Cinderella.  I was not a bit afraid of walking out on stage and modeling that dress, I loved it so much.  I guess you could say I am a model. Ha!

When we had children, I sewed for them.  One year I made myself and one of my sons outfits and we modeled together in a city style show.  It was a contest and I was hoping to win a prize.  I think I got second or third place.

This is just to say, I love textiles.  I love the feel of fabric and yarns.  I can look for hours online at all the beautiful fabrics that are offered on so many sites. How my mother would have loved it.  She never lived to see computers so widely used.  I am trying so hard not to buy any new fabric because I really need to use up what I have which can never be done if I sewed continuously for the next twenty years.   I can’t believe the choices there are and that new ideas just keep coming.   I have favorite fabric designers, but that can change at any time as new ones are always producing new fabrics.

I sewed my own clothes for many years until I got into quilting and sewing clothes went by the wayside.  I sew skirts for myself and recently I sewed a dress, but I don’t like how it fits so not sure how much I will wear it.  I have a couple of favorite blouse patterns that I use occasionally, but that’s the extent of my clothes sewing.

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This is a skirt I am working on.  I have hundreds of old hankies, another textile I love,  and I used one in the pockets on the skirt.  I can make a skirt in an afternoon.  It’s relaxing to sew and I get lost in the making of something that can be of use.

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This is a purse I made for Easter.  It cost me next to nothing as I used odds and ends of felt and fabric I had around my shop.

I have a whole lot more to say about textiles, but I will save it for my next post.  Hope you have some textiles you love in your life.  A favorite blouse, skirt, pillowcase.  Surround yourself with textiles you love.  Bye.

2015

Happy New Year.  Yes, I’m a day late, but I was busy New Year’s Day.  I had to watch all those old Twilight Zone shows I have watched dozens of times through the years.  I can remember when I was a girl and Twilight Zone just started and how we all gathered in the living room to watch it every week.  Rod Sterling or is it Serling, always introduced each show and the Twilight Zone music would come on and give me the shivers.

While watching Twilight Zone I did what I have done every year since I was a girl. I made pillowcases.  My mother always said we had to make pillowcases on New Year’s Day.  I don’t know why.  Luck?  We needed them? Tradition?  She just wanted me to do something?  Anyway, I make pillowcases on New Year’s Day.

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I made three and I also finished a new ironing board cover.

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I can never find pretty ironing board covers and I iron a lot since I sew a lot and I like having pretty ironing board covers on my ironing board.   They are so easy to make and I can change them out when I get tired of one or the old one gets too raggedy.  I wear out ironing board covers and irons regularly as I use them so much.  There are days that the iron is on all day.  I am very pleased with this one.  The fabric had lines I could quilt on and I finished it in a couple of days to include cutting it out, quilting it and putting in the elastic.  It fits really well.  Better than any store bought ironing board cover.  How many times have I written ironing board covers in this paragraph?   Belle keeps check on me hoping she can come in and sleep for a while in the shop.  A lot of the time I have three dogs sleeping in here while I work.  Belle snores.  Loudly.  I want to record her and let you hear her sometime.

I also painted lampshades.  I read a blog where this lady painted her white lampshades to make them look like Tiffany glass when lit.  I’m not that good an artist so mine aren’t elaborate, but with the shades painted, the lamps give off a softer light.

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I may never have a white shade in my house ever again.

I also had to eat cabbage(sauerkraut) for New Year’s.  Once again a tradition my mother started.  I put a little brown sugar and some celery seed in the sauerkraut and it is delicious.  Sauerkraut and sausages.  Yum.

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Tomorrow we are having Christmas with three of our grandchildren who were in Chicago Christmas day.  My grandsons are into Mind Craft things and so they got some Mind Craft things, but then I got it into my head to make some Mind Craft dolls.  This is supposed to be the Creeper.  Since my grandson doesn’t read my blog, I can show him.

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This is his face.  His whole body is supposed to be made out of pixels, I think, but there was no way I was sewing that many little squares on fabric.  Hope he likes him.

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I walked around today looking at our outside decorations.  We are leaving them up until January 6th for the twelve days of Christmas and then they will be put away for another year.  I really loved decorating our new front porch.

It was a busy day.  Oh, and I dyed my hair.  What color??  You will have to wait and see.

Hope you have a very pleasant, healthy and prosperous New Year.  Whatever it brings, just know there is One who watches over us all and wants the best for us.  Happy New 2015!  Bye.

 

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It is, you know.  The most wonderful time of the year.  The season of giving and peace and love.  Oh,  you look around the world and see all the evil that is going on, but what you don’t see very often because it doesn’t make a good news story, is the good that is going on.  The nurse in the hospital who gives a lonely patient a little extra time and patience, the boy on your street who helps his elderly neighbor clear the snow off her walk,  the man who pays the tab for a soldier eating at the next table in a restaurant,  a teen-ager who calls his grandma and asks about her day.  There is a lot of bad, but if you look, you will see the good also.  There will always be sin in this world.  Jesus said there would be wars and rumors of wars.

We can all make this world a little bit better.  It’s the small things that count.  A smile, patience for that slow driver in front of you, a kind word, a pat on the back, a hug.  What if everyone decided that they were not going to be the problem, but the answer?  That we would all decide we would get along with our neighbor, that we would look on the bright side of things for a change, that your life really isn’t so bad if you can get up in the morning and do something for others.  It’s time to stop being so self-centered.  To stop wondering when things are going to get better.  You can make them better.

I decided quite a long time ago that I was not going to look at the glass half empty.  My glass is always half full.  If I don’t feel well one day I think I am no better than anyone else and cannot escape the trials of man and accept it.  I have lived through tragedies, sadness, pain, separation, and most of the other human ills.  We all must face these things at some time in our lives.  It is how you face them that counts.  I know people who have the most awful diseases who wear a smile on their faces in their adversity.  There is one thing they have.  They have Jesus in their heart.  It makes a difference, you know.  At this season rest in the knowledge that God loved us all enough that He came down to earth as a tiny baby and lived among us for a time.  He died a wretched death on the cross and took every one of our sins upon Himself.  He died but He arose the third day and now lives in heaven.  One day He will come back for those who believe in Him.  I believe.  He makes my life complete.

I love Christmas because I can give presents to friends and family.  I love making gifts and this year I went all out.  I can’t show most of what I have made, but I have already given some things away so those I will show.

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I made felt ice skates for the children in my Sunday school class and filled them with candy and little toys and stickers.

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I have a friend who loves cats so I made her this little ornament out of felt.

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The lady I help in Sunday school got this because I told her she was an angel.

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Another friend keeps bees so, voila!  When I found this pattern I immediately thought of her.

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I was on a roll and made another ornament.  I may make more before I’m done.  I love working with felt.

I’ve been knitting up a storm too.

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Hats and scarves for the children in my Sunday school class.

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A year or so ago, a nice lady from my church gave me a big bagful of quilt blocks, embroidery floss, a whole quilt that she had cross stitched and several other goodies.  She said she gave it to me because she knew I would get some good out of it since I love to quilt.  There were enough of these school house blocks to make a full size quilt  So, I did.  I asked her who had made the blocks and she told me her grandmother.  I knew I could not keep this quilt for myself.  It belonged in her family so this Sunday I gave it to her.  It made me so happy to see her smile.  The quilt was probably started in the 1950’s and now sixty some years later it is finished and the family can enjoy it for years to come.

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I think my brothers had pajamas made from material like this back in the day.

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There were plaid blocks.

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One block was made with a satin or crepe de chine.  Is that spelled right?

Yes, I have been a busy beaver.  And I have enjoyed every bit of the making.

In other news.  Molly Marshmallow continues to grow and grow.

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Doesn’t she look adorable here?  Wellllllll.  This dog loves wood.  She chews on wood every chance she gets.  She has chewed on our house, around the windows, the wooden deck benches.  She goes out in the yard and drags up pieces of wood and chips them like a beaver all over our back deck.  She climbs on top of the woodpile, I don’t know why.  Maybe she is planning on working her way down it.  Anyway, today I took hot sauce and a brush and painted it all over the back of our house.  Molly immediately started licking it up.  Finally she decided maybe it wasn’t so good.  I am going to hot sauce everything I don’t want her to chew.  She loves chewing the heels of my shoes as I walk so on will go the hot sauce.  I hope I have found the remedy to her constant chewing.  It’s not like she doesn’t get toys and rawhide bones to chew.  I just hope she outgrows this affinity for wood and me.  I still love her, though and get a lot of laughs from her antics.  If you walk by me and I smell like hot sauce, you will know why.

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I look at this face and I cannot stay angry with her.  She is a puppy and chewing is what puppies do.

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My Santa rests on the couch before the big day.  He’s been asked at the store for stickers and other toys.  Little children think he’s the real thing.

A big package came to our front door the other day.  David and I had gone to a Christmas party and when we came home there was this box sitting on our front porch.

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It was for me!!!!!!

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Do not open until Christmas.  Oh, no!  I feel like a kid again waiting for the big day.

I knew it had to be from someone I knew who knew I liked chickens because this was on the package……

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A rooster made out of what looks like an old quilt.  Interesting.  Hmmmmmmm.  Well, I guess I will just have to wait until Christmas until I can open it.

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Couldn’t let Christmas go by without dressing up one of the hens for the season. This is Ada and she’s the only one who will allow me to pick her up now.  She got a little squirrely toward the end of the photo shoot and finally flew out of my arms, but David got a good picture of her.

 

Must go.  Just four more days.  Hope you are ready.  It will come whether you are ready or not.  See you on the other side.  Merry Christmas.  Bye.