Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Christmas Project

Last year I found the lovely toille shown here at Joann's and couldn't resist it. Found these cute patterns to embroider and I actually have done five of them now. Working toward getting nine done. With the exception of a small wallhanging I did several years ago when redwork became popular again, I hadn't done "fancywork" in a long time except for counted crossstitch. I also want to do the Polka Dot Girls patterns that I bought at the show in Chicago so this is good practice. I am kind of switching to another stitch and getting a little better at it. With these little Christmas blocks, I will either make one 9 block wallhanging or 3 - 3 block hangings. Most likely it will be three smaller hangings which I can give to my three favorite granddaughters! (Click to enlarge) Don't tell them!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Flowers are Planted

My containers and hanging baskets are filled now so will water, wait and enjoy the growing flowers.

Will spell this wrong, of course, but here is a mandevillea I got at K-Mart. So pretty. In the front kettle are some ornamental kale, dusty miller, little begonias & some pretty white trailing stuff.

On the front stoop - again some lovely fancy leaf begonias, lacy white plant, little begonias and sweet allysum. Watching over it is a kind of homely pink flamingo that has a bobbing head. My garden for 2009. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Fashion Friday

Here again is one of the best dressed chicks in Peoria sometime around 1915-20. Mom seemed to just love posing in her pretty outfits. This one features such a lovely hat with a gorgeous feather and a chic fur stole. According to the times, she wore leather gloves and high button shoes and her suit was probably wool. How times have changed. Most people rarely dress up to such an extent - at least the ones that I know. I do like the casual approach better. (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Really Cool, Damp Weather

Thought I would have my flowers in by now, but so far they are just sitting on the patio patiently waiting to be put in their summer homes. I went out yesterday afternoon and got some more filler plants but didn't get anything planted. This morning we had quite a bit of rain and it has been damp and cool - kind of dank! House really feels a little chilly so I may just fire up my gas logs in a little bit.

So, instead of pictures of my newly planted containers, how about some kaleidoscopes made with pictures of some of the blocks from my floral quilt - which now has the borders on and will be ready for a quilt sandwich when I find some backing. Thought I would have enough of the background but it falls short.
Then below is a kaleidoscope of the pretty verbena I bought Monday. That is such a fun bit of software.I love the soft shades of pink - just beautiful. Will try to get planting done tomorrow.
(Click to enlarge)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Finally, Flower Planting Time

My first plant purchase this year - a great flat of sweet allysum that I love and use a lot of. Then I stopped at another of my favorite nurseries and bought two lovely hanging baskets - this pretty lobelia
and I think this is verbena in a sweet soft pink. Love pink and blue flowers!!

Then I looked for the pretty fancy leaf begonias that I had last year on the front stoop. There were several different ones but not the same one. However, don't you think this is a gorgeous substitution?

In with it I am going to put this lovely lacey plant and some white double impatients and allysum.Today I bought a flat of fibrous begonias - those have been a mainstay with me for a long time. They bloom and bloom and are so pretty. They even like the sun. Next I found these lovely geraniums that are kind of like ivy geraniums. The tag says they are semi trailing. They certainly caught my eye and they are gorgeous plants so they came to live on my patio, also.
Below are more geraniums and a glimpse of the double white impatients.
Tomorrow I will stop at two or three more places, see what I can't live without and start planting my containers. I think many of the quilters are also lovers of gardening! Kind of goes together.
(Click to enlarge)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

Here is a picture that very well could have been taken in the early 1900's on Memorial Day (or Decoration Day as the holiday was also referred to in the "old days") back in Rome, Illinois, at the Sionilli cottage belonging to my grandparents. I could have saved this for the 4th of July, but I have another fun picture for that occasion. These two happy looking waders standing in the Illinois River are my grandparents, Dan and Maggie Pearce. I love their swimwear - Grandpa has kind of a little potbelly and knobby knees and Grandma looks just plain cute. Amazing to see pictures of them younger, especially Maggie. Don't know who is out in the boat behind them. Hope you are having a good weekend!
(Click to enlarge)

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Floral Blocks are Together

Here they are together and ready for a border. The plan is to put a 3/4" first border of the turquoise and purple fabric in the lower left hand block, then probably a three inch border of the background fabric - binding with the turquoise purple. As of now, I am not planning on any applique on the border but will attempt to quilt some feathers or something else pretty. Will see how it looks when it's laid out. Maybe I will decide it needs a little applique. I wish I would have turned the background fabric behind the basket block the other way so that I could have had that in the middle row. There is a definite way the blocks have to be laid out and that one can only go in the two short vertical rows. This is a cheery little thing - fun to do. The colors in Kaffee Fasset's fabrics are so rich - they just sing. (Click to enlarge)

Fashion Friday

There are quite a few pictures of my mother in her younger years that just fascinate me. At one time, my grandparents, although not wealthy, led a very comfortable life and some of the old pictures reflect that. My grandfather worked for Thomas and Clark Cracker Company and was active in politics in Peoria. He was city treasurer when I was born despite having only an elementary school education. Mom and her sisters, especially Nelle, the older one, wore such pretty clothes for the time. So, I thought I would have a "Fashion Friday" for several weeks and post a picture of the Pearce girls in their finery during the period of about 1915 - 21.
This picture, I am almost 100% sure, would have been taken at the conservatory in Glen Oak Park in Peoria. Nan and her friend (I think she was a girl Nan worked with at Powers Camera Shop) are admiring the lovely blooms. Nan is holding her hat which looks as if it were trimmed with a lovely flower and she is wearing a pretty summer dress with three-quarter sleeves trimmed with lace and a big sash. I would guess the dress is white and sash blue. Her friend has a lovely plaid skirt and white blouse and straw hat with a halo of flowers around the brim.
This most likely was a lovely summer afternoon and the girls had been for a walk in the park.
(Click to enlarge)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Last Two Floral Blocks

The final two blocks for the little floral piece. I do see one leaf that I forgot to stitch so will do that one. As for the setting triangles, I auditioned applique pieces on one of them and it will be entirely too busy so think a nice quilted motif would be much better. Will post another picture when I get them together. (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Red Delicious BOM for May

This month's block is actually three smaller blocks, two of which are shown here. They are filler blocks and are really adding a great touch to the rest of the piece. I have put my blocks up on the wall in the basement in the approximate place each one will be and have taken a picture so that you can see how it's progressing. There will be four more to be added. This is a pretty piece and I love all the red! That's always been about my favorite color.
The picture is dark and I apologize for that. There will be a lot more of the dark red sashing between all the blocks which will really spice things up. The bottom middle block will have red buttons from each point - I decided on buttons instead of circles - and the ribbons on the fan have to have a tassel of some description. That will probably be embroidered. As to the size, it is supposed to be about 50 x 50. Can't wait to see what the last four are. (Click to enlarge)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Musical Monday

I didn't post a song last Monday, but I will today. Here is one I remember about the time that Ray and I got married. It's by Kay Kyser and Harry Babbit sings it. Hope you enjoy this little ditty! Some of our music was really silly - but so is each generation's music. We love it anyway!

Now, here's another one - Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Lady - so pretty. Enjoy this one, too.

Maybe next Monday I will put up some of the smooth jazz that I love so much.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fashion Show Post One

What the well dressed mother and baby were wearing in 1928. Sitting on the "coping" of the frontyard of a pair of doting grandparents in Peoria, Illinois, were Nan and Carol. Nan is wearing a lovely banded cloche (I think that is what you call that hat) and pointed shoes with a strap. Her dress appears to be a silk or maybe rayon since it has a nice sheen. Carol, born when Nan was 34 and the first of three babies, is dressed in a frilly bonnet and dress with cute little booties. She also appears to be a very healthy, chubby little thing. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Two More of the Floral Applique Blocks

Just finished two more of my floral applique blocks for a total of 11 so far. Right now I am thinking I will do two more and do them on a diagonal setting with some applique on the setting triangles.

At the moment, I am thinking of a small cluster of grapes with some leaves on each one and having the same on each triangle but doing the grapes in different fabrics. Will play with that idea and see how it looks. I love the colors and fabrics all mixed up. If that doesn't work, I'll come up with something different. The setting triangles will be in the background fabric, of course, and the border might be, too. So many choices - ain't it fun?!!!
(Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I'm Thinking about Planting Flowers Soon

It's still kind of early to plant tender annuals here in Michigan, but I am getting anxious to head for my favorite nurseries and start bringing home some of the lovely plants and hanging baskets to come live on my patio and front stoop and hang from the hangers on the fence and house and from the limb of the big old pine tree out front.
No, this is not my house. The dear old man who planted and tended all these flowers was my Dad and he was an absolutely wonderful gardener. His vegetable garden was just as beautiful as his flowers. This is the house my parents lived in long after I was away from home and the year would have been sometime in the early 70's. The pictures are in the late summer or early autumn since the majority of the large colorful clumps of flowers are chrysanthemums.
In this picture, you can see all the rose bushes behind the mums. My sister was a gardener, too, and we would take "garden tours" of each other's gardens. My daughter is also a dedicated enthusiastic gardener - I toured her garden on Sunday. In KC, my oldest granddaughter has taken to gardening and is doing a wonderful job of it. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree sometimes. I miss having a big yard with lots of flowers, but have to admit I miss it less as I grow older. However, I will always have some flowers as long as I can. Nothing more soothing than getting your hands dirty planting flowers!! (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's My Blog's Anniversary

One year ago today, I started blogging. The time has gone by incredibly fast - that's the way it seems to be doing anymore. I have thoroughly enjoyed this and hope those of you that look in on my blog enjoy it also. It is such fun to follow links and discover all of the clever, beautiful, humorous, informative, enjoyable blogs that are out there. One thing, for sure, I am so glad I gave this blogging a try!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Artist Trading Cards for April & May

I didn't get my ATC's finished last month so I caught up this month.

The April theme was Birds of a Feather - so here is my bird. I always have fakey flamingos in my garden - tacky but oh so cute.
Here is my card for May's science fiction theme. Flash Gordon was a comic strip when I was a kid in grade school - and there was also an old one called Buck Rogers. Flash's girlfriend is Dale and the other fellow is a Dr. Someoneorother - can't recall his name nor the name of the monsterlike creature. Isn't it amazing you can find anything you want on the internet!! Love it!
(Click to enlarge)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

On this Mother's Day, I am posting a picture of two women I loved very much. My mother, Nan, and my grandmother, Maggie. This was taken sometime around 1915-1920. They were at the cottage they had by the Illinois river. A favorite picture, I am especially taken at how pretty my grandma was. I only knew her as old. Don't you love their "dustcaps" - I am sure that is what they were called as I remember grandma wearing them when I was little.And here I am in 1954 with my two little kids. Sherry was three and Bill about six months old. Sherry, of course, is the mother of three more women that I love very much! Happy Mother's Day from the Funoldhag!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Billy's Bear

Here's a PS to my previous post. While going through the old things yesterday where I found the card I made for my mom, I found this little bear with movable legs.
Bill, our son, was just about as cute as a little guy could be and very active and lots of fun. Unlike his sister, Sherry (who was pretty darned cute, also), he didn't mess around with crayons or do much cutting out before he went to kindergarten. Billy was busy doing other things. One day when he came home from kindergarten, he said, "Mommy, I had to cry in school today." I asked him what made him cry. "I cut off my bear's leg!" Here is the bear. How can a mom ever throw something like that away?

A Word about Hectographs

Yesterday I was rummaging around in the basement looking in my bins of old pictures, newspaper clippings and all sorts of mementoes and keepsakes. Naturally, in nothing flat I was browsing through them and just completely enjoying looking at things the kids had made, old cards, letters - I am sure I could spend days going through these old memory triggers. I found this - something I had made in grade school for my mom on a long ago Mother's Day. I don't know if the poem is original or something our teacher had us write and I don't know how old I was. Probably 8 or 9 so this little old card is really oooooold.

Then I got to thinking about the hectograph - do any of you remember that? That was truly a very early copy "machine". I looked it up on the internet - I could remember that it was a jellylike substance on which you pressed a paper that had words or drawings written on it using a certain kind of pencil or ink. It was a lavendar or purplish color. The surface took the ink and you could then press another paper down and when you lifted it the print from the pad would be on the paper. If you enlarge the picture of the card, you will see that the outlines are a lavendar color. I remember doing that in school for the teacher sometime. You could actually make a lot of copies from one imprint. So that, my dear friends, is my little lesson of the day for you! A drawing of a hectograph follows.

Actually on the internet there are instructions for making a hectograph - it is gelatin and glycerine mixed some way. However, I think the printer-copier is much easier to use and I will not be making my own hectograph.

Friday, May 8, 2009

All Five Basket Blocks

Not a very good picture with kind of wrinkled blocks on my kind of shabby portable "design wall" that I rigged up a lot of years ago, but it will give you an idea of what they look like when they are together. Seven more to go. (Click to enlarge)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Tisket A Tasket BOM Five

Here's the fifth block for the basket quilt. The instructions for putting the blocks together were there to download this time, so I am thinking about the sashing. May do offwhite with appliqued multicolored leaves on each one. (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It's Sooooooooo Pretty!

I am on Hancock's of Paducah's e-mail list and it gets me in trouble sometimes. There are always some things on sale and, of course, a lot that is not. Recently, I have really been taken by the "romantic" fabric that I see on some of the blogs. The Polka Dot Girls book that I bought has a setting for a quilt that uses the lovely, flowery, pastels.
So, listed in the sale items were precut fabrics - jelly rolls, charm packs, fat quarters and layer cakes. There is one more now - something like "muffins" which I think is fat eighths. Two of the Moda layer cakes were on sale half price. Since they are $35.00 or more that is a good deal. So I ordered Kashmir and Sweet, two lines by Moda. For anyone who reads my blog and doesn't quilt, a "layer cake" is a package of 10" pieces of fabrics, usually about 40, so there is a lot that can be done with them. Then, I saw Aviary - gorgeous! Not on sale, but I went for it anyway. Fedex brought them yesterday.
Isn't it a good feeling to get new fabric - like we need it or something? (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Molly

Twenty-eight years ago today, a darling little girl with big brown eyes came into our lives. Molly is the middle granddaughter in a set of three all of whom have given their grandparents such joy and so much fun and happy memories.
This is the granddaughter that labeled me the "old hag" when we would tease each other. I think that got started in a spirited game of croquet back in Illinois.

Molly in her pretty dress always brings back a very fond memory. Sher, Barclay and the girls came from Michigan to Illinois for Christmas before we moved up here. Dinner was almost ready and everyone was presentable but not really dressed up. Molly came out from the bedroom in her pretty dress, white tights and red shoes - all ready for Christmas dinner. That was an "Awwwww" moment for me.
So, Molly, have a wonderful birthday out there in Portland and, even though your paper card won't get there on time, I am thinking of you and sending you lots of love and

Monday, May 4, 2009

Musical Monday

For today, I will post two videos - both of the same song. First is the Ink Spots singing "It's Only a Shanty in Old Shanty Town" which I remember well when I was in high school. Give it a listen for a bit - you probably won't want to listen to it all!

Then I managed to find a takeoff on the song that I could remember so well - even know most of the words to it. It's cute, jazzy and kind of fun. At least, I thought it was fun way back when.

This is by Johnny Long and his orchestra. Wow, life was different then but, I repeat, it was good. So, Jonathan and Amy, I hope you enjoy listening to some really oooooooold, corny music!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Layout for Red Delicious

Here is the layout of the blocks so far for this block of the month. Still six to go.

Red Delicious Block 6

There was more to this month's block than the preceding ones. Right off the bat, I messed up by fusing part of it to the wrong side of the background fabric and also doing quite a bit of the stitching before I finally tumbled to what I had done. However, I am mellowing as I get older and forgiving myself for some of the mistakes I make so I decided I was not about to start over again. And, to be honest, you probably would not be able to pick it out if you didn't know which one it was. So what difference will it make in another fifty years? Not one bit. I have always loved red, and it's a lot of fun working with all the different shades. (Click to enlarge)