Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Christmas has come and gone and a new year is just hours away.  2014--can it be here already?  I can remember when I was young thinking I would be so happy to live to see the turn of the century.  Now it has turned and is marching forward.  Time goes by quickly anymore.

I spent Christmas in Kansas City with my son and his wife.  Two of Ann's sisters and their families and  her mom were there also.   I thoroughly enjoyed being with all of them.   Ann's mother and I are just a year apart in age and have been together quite a few times over the years.   She is a great lady and fun to be around.  It was great to see the nieces and nephews - all grown up now.   Day after Christmas, Bill and I went to see "Saving Mr. Banks" - it is one great movie!

The picture of the train above is a very old one made by Hallmark to put Christmas cards in.  It belonged to one of Ann's relatives and still collapses to go into the original package.  She doesn't put it out every year since it is naturally getting a little brittle and the tabs deteriorating.  However, isn't it a cool thing to have?  I bet it is worth much more than the original price!

Speaking of things from the past, here is Ann in an apron I made way back in the 1970's (she had been cooking and didn't really want her picture taken).  I was into string piecing  and was appliqueing even then.   Makes me feel good when I see things I have made for the kids (especially Christmas things) still being used.  Sherry has many items in her home, too. 

And here is a picture of a couple of pages from the cookbook I put together back in 1996 when we first got the computer.  Hannah texted this picture of the recipes she was making.  She has had hers now for several years.  The other girls have been using theirs for some time now.  I would do it completely different today but it's not bad the way it is.

One more older piece - this one done by my husband.  He made the candle holders a long, long time ago.  I no longer have mine nor does Sherry.  It was nice to see this again - and on a tablerunner from several years ago.

A final Christmas little bit of fun - Henry decorates cookies--

A word for today---

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Little Christmas Story

A Christmas greeting to all of you from the Funoldhag!   And a Christmas memory that has stayed with me  since I was a teenager

 Long, long ago when I was in high school - probably 1944 - I worked at the local Ben Franklin store on Saturdays, continuing to work there fulltime during the summer between my sophomore and junior years.  In the picture, I am sitting next to the little girl in my really white shoes!   My domain at Ben's was the hardware counter.   This is the entire efficient staff of the store!  John Lee, the owner, is behind the counter by the cash register.

I can't remember whether it was Christmas Eve, but I was working on the last day the store would have been open before Christmas.  We lived in Rome, about three miles south of Chillicothe, so my dad had taken me to work and had to pick me up afterwards.  In those days,  high school students didn't drive.  The war was on--there was gas rationing and a shortage of tires.  I did not drive until after I got married.  I digress.  It was either snowing or had snowed and it was dark.  Dad parked by the side of the city hall just off Second Street which was Chilli's main thoroughfare.   He walked the short distance to Ben's and then he and I went back to the car and headed for the gas station on Fourth Street.  Dad got his gasoline and reached into his pocket for the money to pay for his purchase.   He had put a twenty dollar bill in his pocket and it was not there.  OMG - back in 1944 $20.00 was a whole lot of money!!  Poor dad was just frantic.  Back to the street by the city hall we drove.    Wonder of wonders, there lying in the snow was the $20.00 bill!  He had pulled it out of his pocket when he reached in to get his keys after picking me up.   That moment is such a vivid memory - I have never forgotten how relieved my poor father was.   My parents had gone through the depression and never did own their own home nor accumulate any wealth, but I look back at my childhood and my memories are ones of being loved, being cared for,  and being carefree.

In looking through my pictures,  I came across this one of a little Christmas room that Ray and I put together back in the 70's.   For a long, long time we worked with miniatures -  Ray made beautiful dollhouse furniture and we had a very simple three story dollhouse that he built, along with one that was in an old stereo cabinet.  There is a gorgeous, big, unfinished real dollhouse in my basement  - it is even wired for electricity-- and  a big box of beautiful furniture he made.   Someday, the girls will have to decide what to do with it.   Back to this little room.  It is just a wooden box he built, put the fireplace in it and some velvet (I think) for the carpeting.  Wallpapered with scrapbook paper, it is a lovely setting for some miniatures - both purchased and made.  Back then, miniatures were wildly popular and you could find wonderful things.  Ray made the little rocker and table.  I covered the table with a piece of lace, crocheted the throw rug and made the red curtains.  The tree was decorated with beads, etc.  Also made the stocking on the mantle.  Chandelier is a ping pong ball cut in half that I painted holly around the edge.   Ray added a frame to a sampler.  The rest of the items were purchased.  Sherry has this at her house now.

Will be off to Kansas tomorrow.   We have been having bad weather for the past couple of days - hope it goes away.  I haven't been out of the house since Thursday  as  it has been icey.

Again, Merry Christmas!!  May your day be warm and filled with those you love.  Hope Santa fills your stockings to overflowing with all kinds of good stuff - including fabric!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Movin' On Up

Amazing how little ones develop so quickly and how they learn so much in such a short time.  And what fun it is watching them.   Here is little Miss Annie (in the little tutu I sent) climbing up the stairs to her room with mommy and daddy right behind to keep her safe.   Such fun to find pictures and videos on my I Phone!

My cards are finally in the mail--I worked on them Tuesday and then mailed them Wednesday.  Bittersweet since my list is growing shorter and shorter, but, alas, that is the way life is when you are in your 80's.  All of the cards I send go to friends and family members that have been on my list for many, many years and each one must have a note or a letter in with it.  I have a cousin back in Illinois who is probably 10 years older than I putting her in her mid-nineties.  Ruthie still writes with quite a steady hand.   Her note was "Nothing new.  Same as last year.  I'm fine.  Busy all the time.  Love, Ruthie".   She has always been a vibrant, energetic lady and is still in her home.   Bless her heart. 

I made quite a few hot pad holders and have given them as gifts for Christmas.  They were quick and I enjoyed doing them.  Made the fronts and backs, then sewed them together like a pillow.  They were turned and I had sewed the little opening closed, then stitched a seem between a quarter and a half inch from the edge.  So much easier than binding.  I bound a few but prefer the ease of this method.  Tried to find some bone rings - must not make those anymore- and also some brass ones, no luck..  Did find some white plastic ones at Joann's.   In a big old, old shoe box in the basement, I have lots of things from years and years ago pertaining to curtains and drapes.  There are drapery hooks and clips for cafe curtains.  I had at one time strung a bunch of brass colored rings (think they are actually covered plastic) and that is what I used for the holders.  Never did I think those many years ago what I would actually use some of them for.  Anyway, they were perfect.  I may make one or two pairs in the next couple of days - red Kaffe fabric is what I want to try.

Also accomplished some pants shortening today - two pairs of jeans and pj bottoms.  Took a while, but I'm glad that is done.   Will be starting to think about packing to go to KC in a couple of days.  Time is flying by.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Bit ofChristmas Decorating

My tree wallhanging is all done now and hanging by my front door over my spool cabinet.   I'm loving it.  
I did go ahead and glue on red rhinestones after I ran across them in the closet.   So much easier than sewing on the little red pearls.  And, besides, these little gems really sparkle. 
Here is one of two stockings I always hang on my mantle.  They are made out of a quilt that was given to me when we were first married.  I am so ashamed to say that I used that quilt up - but I have made quite a few things from it's remnants along with the stockings.  I  still have the rest of it and two other old cutter quilts I bought at at auction.  Until I started quilting, I had no idea the time and joy that went into quilting whether the quilts are masterpieces or not.  This old quilt was lovely and I wish I had been aware of what had gone into it's making.  Some of it will live on, though.

This little piece I found in Ray's mother's things.  I think it is so sweet.  As you can see in the top picture, it is folded and in the bottom it is stretched out to it's full length.   Such a whimsical little wooden piece, the paint is shiny and there are silvery sparkles on the trees.  A very sweet piece.
This is not much - kind of a Carol arrangement.   I have a chamber pot collection, and this is one of my plain little potties that I have just stuffed some greens in and added miscellaneous Christmasy pieces in a very unplanned, quick to do way that I seem to do a lot.  Doesn't look too bad for what it is.

Thursday,  about 12 of us went to Frankenmuth - a little German town about 40 minutes or so from here, and had a great chicken dinner at one of the very popular restaurants there.  A fun day with some very fun ladies.  Then a group of us drove to Fenton (not even sure where that is but it was about 40 minutes from Frankenmuth) and went to the Quilt Garden, a very, very nice quilt shop in that town.  There was a huge wall of batiks that was gorgeous!  Lots of other lovely lines of fabric and really nice samples to make you want to buy patterns and fabric and take it home with you.  There were tons of jelly rolls, charm squares, kits, etc.  And a section of gorgeous wool.  That is something I could go overboard on.   All in all it was a lovely day with my quilting friends.   They're a good group.

Words for today:

And it is!!!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Time to Visit Santa Claus

 Just checked out Facebook and look what I found - here is my little great grandson, Henry, sitting on Santa's lap.  I know many of you get a kick out of seeing pictures of Henry--he's such a cute little fellow.  Looks like he is being close up and personal with the old fellow in the red suit!  So different from his mommy who avoided Santa all through her childhood!   The Easter Bunny, too. 
And on the same Facebook page is my sweet little great granddaughter, Annie, on the right, with her little cousin Otto.  Otto is not thrilled at all and neither is Annie.  Actually, Santa is a little scarey looking although I think he has a real beard.
But in this picture, all is well with the world - the ordeal is over and they can go on to more pleasant things.  This picture makes me smile really big!!   Annie and Otto's daddies are brothers so these two little ones will grow up together. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

An Old Dog Can Learn a New Trick

I have working on my tree - here it is on the machine being quilted.  

and here it is stippled and ready for binding.  I am really liking this little thing and will hang it above the little spool cabinet by my front door.  Just decided to go with stippling since all I really wanted was the texture.  I was going to sew lots of little red pearls on it but right now that is just more than I want to do and I do like the little red dots I sewed on the background.

 My new trick - or finally doing the mitered corners - this one is just pinned into place but I think they are going to work out well.  Had a bit of a hassle connecting the binding at the end, but it did work out well.
You can almost see the seam under the red dot.  It will look good when it is turned under.  I have since watched a video by Jennie of Missouri Sewing Machine Co (or whatever the name is for sure) and saw how she did the diagonal join which I was taught at one time and had completely forgotten.  As I was quilting my little piece, my machine sounded funny but the stippling looked great - until I looked at the back!  Egads - I had almost half of one side that the top thread had pulled way down and it looked awful.  Only redeeming feature that it was easy to get out.   I had run out of bobbin thread and changed bobbins and the thread wasn't coming out correctly which was easily remedied.  Hope I remember to check right away if something doesn't sound normal.

Earlier today, I was working on the round robin for guild and had it all finished.  Actually in four pieces, I took them to the basement to press.   I ended up with three pieces!  How can you lose a good sized triangle from the sewing room to the basement?  Looked back upstairs - no triangle.  Back downstairs, still no triangle.  It was not a hard one to replace, but I really didn't want to redo it.  I redid it.  Later on I came back to the basement and there the #X@* triangle was lying in front of the dryer.  I have no idea how it got there.   Actually the one I redid turned out better than the one I lost so it was not a complete lost cause and it took me probably no more than half an hour.   You win some and lose some, right?   On an unrelated note, I turned up 9000 followers on Pinterest this weekend.  I have been pinning probably close to 2 1\2 years and it's lots of fun. So much to see out there!

Appropriate for today:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Annie Trims Her Tree, A Batik Tree and My Trip to the Dentist

Here is the second little recipient of one of the felt trees!  Little Annie is busy with an ornament - her mommy says she likes to take them down better than putting them up.  Nothing wrong with that!  They were more than worth making just for the two pictures of the little ones with their trees!
Started laying out the pieces for the tree yesterday.  Found this red and green batik in my stash and think it is perfect.  The background is fabric left over from the hexie quilt.  I had bought some really pretty batik that is red with white snowflakes on it and I may do one of those, also.  Use that for the background and do a white tree with sparkley silver things on it. 
Found these little red pearls that I think I will sew on the shapes for ornaments.    Didn't work on it today--but made it through my trip to the dentist okay.  Not fun but no pain, really.  Just the anticipation, noise, pressure, etc., that is no fun.  It was complicated, but he is a really good dentist and I trust him.  And I have not had any pain to speak of since the novacaine wore off.   Have iced it all afternoon and evening and expect to be going strong tomorrow except for watching what I eat.   Sherry came out to the office and waited while I was having the procedure done, but it was no problem for me to drive home.  My sweet girl brought me a malt this evening.  Glad it is behind me now!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The First of December---Already!

Thanksgiving has come and gone - and it was a very nice day with Sher and Barc.  Even though  there were just the three of us this year, it was still great.   My daughter and I are good cooks!!  We had a yummy meal, some nice wine, a fire in the fireplace (gas logs!) and she and I worked on a jigsaw puzzle which we finished Friday evening when they came back for leftovers.  Barclay watched football games on my new tv.  Also, there was facetime with all three girls and a phone call from Bill.  A good day, for sure.  To explain the rather faded little pilgrim candles - those are really vintage.   One is marked 10 cents and they are somewhere around maybe 30 to 40 years old.  I have some Christmas candles of the same ilk.

Earlier, I had a text with this picture attached.  Here is Henry with the tree I sent to him.  His mommy said he really likes it.  Henry is as cute as a button and getting cuter all the time.  This will be a big year for him this Christmas.  Little ones make Christmas so much fun.  

Isn't this just adorable?   My DIL Ann had this made as a gift from Bill and her for Annie.  When they were here in August, she "shopped" in my basement for fabrics for the bedding which she also had someone make.  What a wonderful gift!  And it is something that can certainly be passed down to other little ones over the years.  If you remember from an earlier post, Annie's daddy made her a table and chairs so this will go so well with those.
And here is Miss Annie with her sock monkey in the little cradle.  I think Santa might bring her a little baby doll to sleep there, too. 

Now I'm going to see if I can turn this into a wall tree for my living room.  Will use batiks and just do raw edge - maybe not even sewing any of it down.  Or I could actually quilt close to the edge of each piece and that would take care of it, too.   I've got a dental appointment on Tuesday that I would rather not have so will keep busy and concentrated on something fun.  I am a white knuckle dental patient.  Will be glad when the job is done!