Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Nice "Romantic Home" Surprise






We are almost finished with the year 2009 and this time of the year (the week between Christmas and New Year's Day) is, at our house, a time for some rejuvenation in expectation of a busy January. I like to think all kinds of GOOD things will happen and we must be prepared for them. Life being what it is....sometimes things aren't good, but we must be somewhat prepared for those too, I suppose. Well, as it turns out, today we are beginning early....with the good things, that is.

Earlier today, my friend Sherry called and asked if I had seen the new issue of Romantic Homes magazine. I had not, but I had visited one of my favorite blogs,My Romantic Home,and saw that Cindy, one of my favorite bloggers, was telling about appearing in the February 2010 issue of the magazine and showed one of the photographs chosen to be in the magazine. Earlier this year, I had made a pincushion for Cindy and there in the lower right hand side of that photograph was the blue silk ribbon pincushion I had made for her. Talk about excited!!! I had never imagined that one of my silk ribbon pieces (or anything else I had made) would be shown within the pages of Romantic Homes. It makes me smile.....

Cindy loves blue and so the pincushion I made for her is blue...you can see the whole pincushion - the silk ribbon roses, the beaded edge...all of it, in my blog post of January 21, 2009. And, now I am so happy to see it in the "Valentine" issue!

And, you know one of the most fun things? Well, my friend Sherry recognized my work in the magazine and called to let me know. Aren't friends great! So, here we are....having said this particular time of the year I spend preparing and rejuvenating myself for the coming year...a really NICE thing has happened to give me a little boost...how cool is that? Thanks, Sherry, for remembering, and thank you Cindy and Romantic Homes for giving me lots of inspiration! Take care and Happy New Year! pat

PS. I think it just wonderful that Cindy's teen-aged daughter took the photo of her mom for this article. She did a FINE job....Thank you too, Lauren!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

New "Stuff" - What Fun!






How was your Christmas? I hope all is well and you had a wonderful time with family and friends. Mine went very well, thank you. It was fairly quiet. My daughter, her husband and son came over early in the morning for gift-giving. They are always with us on Thanksgiving, so they go to my son-in-law's Mom's house on Christmas...we have our little get-to-gether early...so it all works. Then, while I finished cooking lunch, Richard went to get his step-dad, my father-in-law (nearly 90 years old) so he could join us for our Christmas meal. I kind of like Christmas lunch in front of the fire, so that's what we do when we are "few." It was nice.

So, today, I am trying to sort my "to-do's" out....hoping to get something done this week so we can celebrate again on New Year's Eve. (My celebrating on New Year's Eve will probably consist of quilting by the fire while watching tv...then the Rose Bowl Parade, lots of HGTV and cooking ham, black-eyed peas and cornbread on New Year's Day!) Anyway, I had a few things I wanted to show you. Some were gifts, some weren't, but here's an assortment of good "stuff." You know...the things that keep people like me entertained and busy!!

First thing (and I hope you love this as much as I do) how about this collection of salt and pepper shakers? Most of these were sent to me by my kind and very generous friend, Deb, in Texas. She had blue beads in many of them. I'll show you more about those in future posts. I just had a fit over these shakers and since I had collected four shakers of my own to put my assortment of glitter in, but hadn't yet - I decided I'd use all these for glitter and display them on this heart shaped glass serving plate I've had for years...another gift long ago. The four shakers on the upper right of the plate are the ones I already had. The large one with the handle I've put mica flakes in....I've had the mica flakes a long time and have never used them...bout time, don't you think?
Anyway, I think this assortment will make a lovely collection not only to use, but to just look at, don't you? Deb has a way of knowing just what I will LOVE! Now, I've got to get a few more colors of glitter....can't wait to add to this collection and fill my shakers, then USE them! Huge fun!

My friend, Sherry, was in Texas recently. One of the places she visited was Marshall, Texas, famous for their pottery. She kindly brought back this wonderful mug for me...doesn't my name look lovely written in this blue? I've used it multiple times already and it's great to have my tea from it in the mornings. Yes, some mornings it's nice to be reminded of who I am!! That's supposed to be funny...haha. My friend, Carol, gave me some lovely ornaments she made wrapped in this tissue pattern of monograms...goes right along with the subject of names. Sherry also gave me this stationery box...see, it says EATON in two places. She said she has had it for 27 years and just recently looked at it and said to herself, "Oh, Eaton, oh, Pat"...so she gave it to me. Yes, I can even get excited about an old stationery box! I think it's fun to have a stationery box with my last name written beautifully on it. Then, there's the box of straight pins. I bought it myself from ebay....now, when else am I going to run across a beautiful box of silk pins labeled "The Patricia Silk Dressmakers Pins." Love it! And, Deb, had also included a notepad with my initial P....so cute, and green also...my favorite color!

My sister-in-law, Sandy, gave me this little journal....I love journals! She says I'm to use it to begin note-taking so I can write a book. This is something she keeps telling me I'm 'supposed' to do. She thinks I'm funny. Well, funny things do happen to me, so maybe she has a point. Remind me to tell you someday about my "S" hook story!

My daughter, Kelly, who is such a sweet and thoughtful person, knows I like the work of several bloggers, among them, Kelly Rae Roberts, so one of my gifts this year was this small piece from the Kelly Rae Roberts Collection. LOVE it! All my favorite colors, too. Shown here with it are two birds sent to me by my sister, Debbie, also from Texas. She knows I love birds...and these have made themselves at home here.

Well, these wonderful things are part of my "new stuff." I'm so lucky to have friends and family who seem to want me to have 'more' stuff and enjoy it, which I will. Isn't it nice when people
not only "get" you, but want to share with you? Y'all enjoy the rest of the weekend and take care.....thanks for visiting! pat

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas in My Living Room











Well, here we are, Christmas is this coming Friday! Where did 2009 go? I can't believe the year is just about over and sorry to say, I didn't get everything done I had planned to do. Did you?

Amongst the lovely things I WISH I had was more energy and enthusiasm for decorating for the holiday season. This is always a difficult time of year for me and with no little kids around to make me laugh with all the cute things they say and do.....my decorating has become less and less every year.

I had almost talked myself into not doing any at all, then I realized that just wouldn't do, so I put up a small tree in my living room (and since taking these photos, have added a few other things to the scene). As you can see, I have a tiny living room (these photos were taken at night!) and there wouldn't be room for lots of decorating anyway. I like a cozy room. My daughter says my house is so cozy she can't stay awake in it. I think that means it's boring! However, it is what it is, so there you are.

Some of the ornaments on this tree were made by me out in the Nest...my backyard studio. There are multiples of each. One is the little 'scene' Christmas cards with embroidery and some of that very popular glitter. I have two boxes of very old Christmas cards, so I chose the scenes I liked, printed them in color on muslin, then framed them with fabric strips embroidered with feather stitching, quilted them, then highlighted them with a touch of that glitter. I really like these.

Then, one year, my friend Tom sketched this leaf pattern. I really liked it, so he gave it to me and said I could use it in any way I wanted. I chose to make an ornament. I think I made a dozen of them...some of them on this little tree. They are hand embroidered.

And, then, notice who is under the tree....can you spot my cat, Ethel? Seems that is a very nice spot to take a nap whenever one feels the need. Yes, I'm glad I took the time and energy to put up my tiny tree.....it's a positive thing and I hope you enjoyed 'seeing' my cozy room.....and from it I am wishing you and yours the most wonderful, happiest Christmas ever! Stay safe, warm and happy til we meet again (I'll probably post again next weekend!) A great, big hug to YOU! pat

PS. The strangest of things....I've inadvertantly added these photos twice....I've no clue how I did it or how to remove the duplicates....in fact, I thought I could only add five photos in a post.
Boy.....I guess in 2010 I need to learn more about blogging!!! Do enjoy your holiday!

D Y A, Thanks for your help....I can't believe how easy removing those photos was...you're GREAT!!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

"A Vintage Black Lace Skirt"






In my last post, I mentioned that I would show you more of my 'finds' at the estate sale I was given a 'preview' of by my friend, Jessica. She is dear! She knows I love to use some of the things I 'find' in my work. Sometimes I actually use the pieces themselves...sometimes they inspire me to recreate them, sometimes they inspire me to take the essence of them and create a whole new piece of work. The invitation to preview the sale was brought about, really, by one item. When she saw this skirt, she thought of me (how nice is that?) and my love of old textiles. The rest is history.

Of course, she knew I'd buy it...and I did too. Another lovely $10 purchase! Is this simply beautiful or what? So, is it a skirt...overskirt or underskirt? A petticoat? I'm not sure at all about it, but just love it. It is in pretty bad condition...it's fragile, with several rips here and there. Jessica thought for sure I could use parts of it to include in other pieces of my work, but as I look at it now....I don't have the heart to cut it apart. At least not yet. I want to enjoy looking at it for while, taking my time to decide what to do with it.

Can you see how much longer it is in the back...and much fuller. I think this may have been used along with a bustle. Maybe. Or, maybe it just accomodated a person like me with a bit much in the hip area. It's a very graceful thing....I'm sure whoever wore it enjoyed it very much and felt quite elegant in it.

Whatever it's history...it lives with me now and the first use I'll put it to is having it as a 'decoration' Thursday when my friends come to visit for our monthly meeting. Quilts, beads, Christmas and a hundred year old garment showing itself off....what a fun day that will be!!!
You all have fun too....take care, pat

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"An Estate Sale Quilt and Three Laughing Birds"






The other day I got a call from my friend, Jessica. You've heard me talk about her before as she is my main 'therapist' at my favorite flea market..Green Alley. Among the many things she does is estate sales. She called to let me know she was preparing one and there 'might' be some things I'd like in it, so if I'd come over that day...I could have a look before the sale the next day. Well, that's all the encouragement I needed, so off I went. And, true to form, I bought SEVERAL things. I plan on showing these things in several different posts...so here is the first one...a quilt top!

This quilt was in one of the bedrooms....kind of folded up and almost underneath some lace yardage...I'll show the lace another time, as of course, it came home with me also. The quilt top looks like it was made in the 30's. What I loved about it was the embroidered animals in all the center hexagons...and then again all around the border...so cute! The quilt is in pretty good shape, so this one would be a good candidate to actually hand quilt and all for the sum of $10!! (Well, only time will tell!)

I wanted to take a photo of the quilt on my 'working wall' in the Nest, but of late, I've had a big Log Cabin Quilt covering the whole thing, it requires a ladder to take down and I was just too lazy today to do that....so, despite the 35 degree temps this afternoon....I hung the quilt top on my little outdoor clothesline on the Nest's front porch to take some photos. Well, how stupid is that with the cold wind blowing? So, I took what I could get....as full a view as possible, then some closeups and then came inside.

There are all kinds of animals embroidered on this quilt....and some are repeated, even turned a different direction....but, oh so cute! Loved the two 'love birds' I've shown here on the border.
I did take one indoor photo of a corner of the quilt...looks lots better in this one, but I wouldn't have had an 'adventure' if I'd stayed in the house!

Three birds laughing. Now is that an odd statement? I just wanted to show you what my son brought to me over Thanksgiving....a nest with three birds....I think they are laughing!!! They are PUPPETS! Aren't they a riot? I got a big kick out of them...aren't you laughing too?

So, there you are....a wonderful, fun quilt...some laughing birds.....a good day!!! Y'all take care, pat

Sunday, December 6, 2009

"Chocolates, Anyone?"






"SAVE THE EARTH....it's the only planet with CHOCOLATE!"

"Put EAT CHOCOLATE at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least, you'll get ONE thing done."

Let me begin by saying that I am allergic to chocolate. To those of you who happen to know me...this explains why I am a somewhat difficult person to live with. To those of you who don't, well, suffice it to say that I have substituted chocolate therapy with flea market therapy, thus avoiding those bothersome allergic reactions!

The last two Mondays, I have taken a chocolate-making class at the local chocolate shop. While I knew there was a chocolate shop in town, I had never ventured into it, but a friend of mine mentioned that she was taking a class there, and thinking it sounded like FUN, I decided to attend classes with her. And, YES, I did say I was allergic. I just never touch the stuff, but can still enjoy the smell of it...aroma therapy....and besides, that old navy man LOVES chocolate, so why not make him some?

The little shop is called "Pearley May's Chocolate Shop" where you can purchase various chocolates, cakes, cookies, etc. The owner's name is Diana. I would give you all the shop info, but she doesn't ship. Being a one person operation, I'm sure she has her hands full filling all her orders during the holidays anyway. There isn't another operation like it around here that I know of.

In the first class, we learned to paint the molds with chocolate, rolled the centers, etc. The first box of chocolates shown here, I made in the first class. Not perfect ones, mind you, but I did manage to make enough to give every person at our family Thanksgiving dinner one, plus a small box of eight to send home with the favorite son and a box of six home to Texas with the cousins. These folks said the chocolates were very good, so I'm assuming they were. I know I had fun making them.

One thing I learned is if you overpour the final layer of chocolate, you must later trim them to make each one really "neat and pretty." And, also, we cut one from each batch in half so we could see how well we filled the chocolate shell. You know how OCD I am, so naturally, I was better at doing the trimming than the filling!

In the second class, we learned to make truffles....piping in the filling. I really enjoyed the piping....reminded me of decorating cakes. The second little box contains some of the truffles I made.....I even enjoyed putting the box together and think doing some artwork on the boxes would be fun...well, if you are presenting them as a gift, why not go all out?

The classes were fun...I had never taken a class involving food before. I wanted to take the class on 'ganache' but missed it...darn it...that old navy man would love a chocolate cake with that luscious, shiny, chocolate on top and there are no more classes til some time next year. Heck, maybe I'll just research that and make him one on my own. How hard can it be? Famous last words?

It's cold here....and it probably is where you are too...so stay warm and happy and take care til we visit again. pat

PS. By the way, did I mention the navy man eats all this chocolate and never gains an ounce?
Aggravating, isn't it?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"A Mountain View Visit"






Yesterday I drove to Mountain View to visit with my friend, Kay, and some other quiltmakers.
It has been several years since I've visited Kay's home, so I was very happy to have been invited for this visit. Last time I was there, the house was just barely finished, but I knew it was going to make them a lovely home even then.

Kay is one of those "special" people who always go out of their way to "do" for others, so she is a very kind person who shares whatever she has in a lot of different ways. No way could you leave her home and not feel cared for...I just love her! Now, having said that, you must know that her home looks and feels special too. (I'll post more about my visit yesterday, and her home sometime in January).

Kay had around a dozen friends over and she made a delightful lunch, with lovely table settings, including favors for us all. Looking in the photos, the first one is of Kay's home....I loved her front steps so much I had my brother-in-law make some like this on my front porch. This house is so cool, with an open concept inside, and filled with the "well-loved" things that Kay collects...so cozy and homey.....a visual treat! Like I said, I'll show more on another day, but I did want to show you one of my favorite things about the place....Kay lives "up high" and has a bench out "close to the edge" where you can look and see the valley and the river below...the view is so beautiful. This photo doesn't do it justice, but can't you just feel your blood pressure go down when you imagine sitting here?

The luncheon table was just beautiful.....here is my place setting. Note the little chair. She said she was going to make me a pincushion with it but decided I might enjoy doing it myself. I'll have to make it very special, like she is!! On the left you can see the favors....a crock complete with "guest ticket".....done only as Kay can do it. I may show that again later...and closer.

One of the ladies present just happened to be one of my students when I taught at the
Folk School. Here you can see the quilt she made from one of my class project kits. Vickie did a marvelous job on this little quilt and I am so happy to hear that she is enjoying applique! I am told that she won a ribbon with this quilt...well, it's beautifully made, so I'm not surprised.
It was good to see her and the quilt!

Here's Kay in her kitchen...just a wonderful place. The day was quite lovely and very special, however, I did miss one particular person...Miss Mary. I haven't seen Mary since my days at the Folk School and I would have enjoyed seeing her as she is another of those "special" people up Mountain View way. She also took classes from me and I really appreciated having her there with us...we laughed a LOT...I missed that yesterday, so here's a message to Mary - I missed you, Mary, and hope to see you some other time...you are a 'very cool' person in my book and I hope you are enjoying your retirement!

I think a good time was had by all...especially ME! Thank you, Kay, for all you do, and, girls, it was very nice to see you all too. What could be better than seeing old friends and making new ones? Y'all take care. pat

The Bird Nest on the Ground Studio

The Bird Nest on the Ground Studio
Right in My Backyard

A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.