Tuesday, June 29, 2010
One of the things I love best about blogging is 'meeting' people and making friends with them.
I love to receive comments, make comments on the blogs of others, and sending an email or two back and forth with them from time to time. It's neat to share photos of the things I've made, or done around the Nest. And, I'm learning lots of interesting things. What about you?
And, as is true with the friends in my 'real' life...I'm finding that my blogging friends are quite generous. So, today, I thought I'd show you some really nice 'goodies' I've received from my friends from cyberspace and a friend who lives here also. And, yes, I send things to folks from time to time myself as I like to share too.
One day a couple of weeks ago, I received a box from the Netherlands sent by my blogging friend, Francien. She is dear. Just look....a lovely pink pincushion she made, a crocheted soap holder with a beautiful bar of 'bee' soap (you know I love crochet and the soap smells good too!), a pad of bird notes, a sweet green bird and nest (yes, two of my favorite things and green, my favorite color, well, along with pink and red!), and a lovely handmade card with hearts and lace. So sweet of her to do such a thing and I will treasure them all. And, oh, yes....I LOVE the heart pin shown in the pincushion....you know...hearts - another of my favorite things. Thank you again, Francien!!!
Then, there is a crocheted piece from my blogging friend, Karen from Houston. This arrived one day totally 'out of the blue' also and I was so happy to have these beautiful crocheted birds!
Wasn't that a thoughtful thing to do? She found it at the flea market...oh...it's nice to 'meet' people who love the same things you do....such as all that 'hunting and gathering.' Thank you again, Karen!!!
If you've read my posts very often...then you know my daughter and a friend have started an art co-op here in town. There are about twenty-two artists involved....including me and my new friend, Burt. He lives in a neighboring town and is a potter. A very interesting guy who makes us laugh and at seventy-three, he is an inspiration...doing what he loves to do. One day I mentioned that I'd like some tiny bowls that would just fit into the palm of my hand. "Whatever for?" he asked. "Well, to put beads and things into," I said. So, last time we were open (every second Saturday of the month), Burt arrived with a box and said to me...'this is a gift." And, here you see what he had made...just for me...twenty-five different sized tiny bowls!
I've placed my embroidery scissors here beside them so you could see their approximate size.
Can you believe that? I told him he was an over-achiever, smiling, of course. They are really nice...porcelain, he tells me. (I would have been very happy with ONE....he's such a nice guy.)
I bet you have some of these stories too. Generous people abound in the craft/art/blogging world...and, even absent these very special gifts...I love hearing from my blogging friends....as they are the most special thing of all!! Take care out there....pat
Saturday, June 26, 2010
I meant to post yesterday but got kinda sidetracked....there wasn't a lot going on....but it was our anniversary, so I decided to post today instead. Yes, 'that old navy man' and I enjoyed our forty-fourth wedding anniversary yesterday, June 25th. We were married on a Saturday evening in the little Methodist church in Meridian, Texas...there were about twenty-four friends and relatives there...a small wedding, for sure. I made my own dress. My Dad not only gave me away...but was also the best man. He (the old Army man) and Richard (the old navy man) got along famously. My mother-in-law made the cake and we had a small reception at her house. There are no photos because the elder brother-in-law was to take photos and thinking his camera was in the trunk of the car, found it wasn't after it was too late to do anything about it. Well, it was 1966...things were different then.....especially in a tiny town in the heart of Texas.
No one thought it would last. And, really, I don't know why it did except that no one else would live with either of us and we sort of know that. Besides, I always tell people we have to stay together because I can't see and he can't hear. It works for us. My goal has always been 50 years and I'm holding out for that....
Anyway, since there are no photos of my wedding...I thought I'd show you some vintage photos of other people's weddings. People I don't know. I buy vintage photos because I love them and have no family photos to speak of....that old anyway. Aren't these brides just gorgeous? I'm always amazed to find these things in flea markets....I suppose the whole family of each of these people has died off and no one wanted them....well, except me. I think they are beautiful! And, I thought you might like to see them too.
The 'more recent' last photo is a wedding of a friend of mine....gee, it had to be 1964 or '65, as I wasn't married yet. That's me....the short person with the white glasses. If it was '64, I was 20 years old then. I vaguely remember the wedding. However, I do remember making the dress I am wearing...it was lavender. I also remember grumbling over having to wear that huge bow on the top of my head...but I did it anyway. It's weird to see 'me' back then....somedays it seems just yesterday...and other days....I believe this might be someone else entirely. And, I was thin.....sigh....
Yes, forty-four years..... just imagine!!! take care, pat
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Today I decided to straighten up the studio from my latest working frenzy and if I managed to actually do it...then I would post some photos. I actually did do it, so I'm going to show you the inside of my studio, which I call Bird Nest on the Ground. To be honest, I always try to have it somewhat on the neat side. Well, I like things neat, plus there's that OCD thing. However, when I get really involved in something....it can get kind of 'piled up' with 'stuff.' You may look at it now and see 'junky' rather than 'neat' but really, considering how much stuff is in this 18' x 26' space, it really is pretty orderly.
I'm always buying all the 'studio' books...I just love to see how people work and where they work. And, actually, I am really drawn to all those studios filled with antique furniture, luscious fabrics, roses, pink 'stuff' and all that. But, I don't have antique furniture to put in here, nor the funds to go get it, so my studio can only be considered as 'utilitarian.'' I do like a place for everything and everything in it's place. I dislike having to look for things when I need them, although have not found a perfect way to avoid this dilemma.
If you've visited my studio before, then you know that the old navy man built that 4' x 8' work table for me. It's my very favorite possession and is a wonderful place to work, not to mention how much storage is underneath it. I do a lot of work standing up.....even hand sewing...sometimes. I've got a place to sit and sew by hand...there by the 'bulletin' board and next to my computer. Love my iMac and that is where I talk to YOU. We've moved that old green 50's desk to several different houses and it's not a simple thing to do...it weighs a ton. But, I love a desk, especially this one....wherever I live...it gets to live there also!
There's a spot for my Bernina and next to it an old Singer that my son- in-law brought me one day after his family's clothing store closed. They had an alterations department, so there's no telling how many garments were altered at this machine....it still sews beautifully! The ironing board is the one thing I use all the time, but am never happy with where it sits. And, I mean NEVER! I've tried using an ironing pad on the table, but I really detested that....so there it sits, right in the middle of everything. I'm a firm believer in pressing though, so it's a necessary evil.
I usually have eight chairs and two to four tables in this room....seating/workspace for friends or students. It's much too easy to 'store' on the tables when they are not in use and my daughter needed to borrow them for the month of June, so you can see, I've just set up an old card table so I could have a place to sit a drink or something if I wanted to sit in that great old chair you see here. It's a beauty though really ragged and dirty, but the minute I saw it at the flea market, I knew it was coming home with me. Even though it's ratty, it sits pretty well and I just love looking at it! (I've told you, I think, that when at the flea market...stuff talks to me....this chair said "You aren't leaving without me!" And, I didn't.) My husband says this kind of thing is what he means when he asks "What are you dragging in now?" I pay no attention, of course.
Well, so that's pretty much it.....my sanctuary...my favorite place....the depository of all my 'ingredients.' Tell me what you think...I'd love to hear all about it....meantime, stay cool, and take care. pat
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Yesterday I finished my latest bird and nest pincushion. I am so happy to have finally finished this one as I know the lady that commissioned me to make it has had to have thought I'd never get it finished. She has lots of patience. It was way back in February when she let me know she'd like one....and I'm mailing it on Monday. And, she never complained. I appreciate her so much! And, I must do better in future.....there are several other commissions waiting....and fortunately for me...they have let me know they are patient also. Friends, both in my 'real' life and my 'blogging life' are really the nicest people. And, I do my very best to make them something I hope they will consider an heirloom.
When she (a lovely person from another state) asked me to make her one of my pincushions, she said the birds could be blue, dark red, or 'whatever color' I would think best. (You know, I really make 'fantasy' birds and flowers!) So, I tried to get red and blue involved as much as possible, figuring she must really be partial to those colors since she mentioned them. Now, looking at the photographs, I have to say the actual pincushion is a darker blue and the roses are not pink...they are a color called "Holiday Red" and made from a silk ribbon hand-dyed by a friend who has moved away and with whom I've lost contact. I chose the blue/lavender/greenish fabric because I imagined it to look like a stormy sky or a stormy sea. That appealed to me for some reason.
You might wonder about the background fabric...it was cut from a vintage dresser scarf, you know the kind...usually too tattered to use, so I use the 'good parts.' Stained linen napkins are good to use also. (I am partial to those fabrics.) I painted the fabric to resemble the sky and ground. I LOVE doing the painting as I never really know what I'm going to 'get.' The bird is embroidered, mostly, with DMC #336, one strand. He, or she (?) is one and a half inches from beak to tail. The nest is made with a selection of floss, yarn, linen thread and perle cotton and is one and a half inches wide. The largest tree in the background is two inches tall. The entire pincushion is six inches square.
The beads are a mixture of metallic blue, purple, green and bronze with a red bead in the center of each 'fringe.' There are 31 beads in each fringe, and then five beads done in a 'second round' over those. The eggs are beads from a huge and varied stash given to me by my generous friend, Deb, in Texas. (Thank you again, Deb!) I LOVE doing this kind of thing and I hope it shows.
These bird pincushions are a challenge for me....I am not good at drawing. Actually, it doesn't really matter to me that I'm not good at drawing, as I 'FEEL' the bird looks like a bird and the nest looks like a nest. They don't have to look like a photograph. And, I truly do LOVE to think the work looks like a human heart and hand made it. Yes, I hope she feels it is an heirloom because there is lots of love and caring in it....I am so happy I am able to create these little things!
Nancy....I'll mail it promptly on Monday....please enjoy in good health and happiness! take care, pat
PS. I hope everyone has a lovely Father's Day! I'll have that old navy man and his step-dad here for lunch with me. Two really great guys!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
On my last post, I left you with a mystery....where was my lost camera? On this post, and with these photos, you can tell the camera is found! So, your question will be "in what silly place did I find it?"
Actually, I KNEW where it was when I last posted but I looked everywhere else 'just in case.' I just didn't want to say anything until I had it back in my own two hands. Now that I do....and as briefly as possible, (you know with me that's not easy!), here's the story. That old navy man, my father-in-law, my sister-in-law, my brother-in-law and I went to a local restaurant for dinner that Monday night. THAT is where I left my camera. Not to mention names, but it's a franchise where you can have pancakes. The very next day, I had figured out that is where I left the camera, so I called. They told me it was not there. I KNEW it was. I'm leaving out some things for brevity, so let me just say that it took until Thursday and threatening to call the headquarters of this chain and filing a police report to get my camera back. Actually, it wasn't a threat, I fully intended to do it and twenty minutes after that phone call....I was told it had been 'found' and I could come pick it up anytime. Ten minutes later, I was there. Needless to say, my blood pressure has been up.
Anyway, NOW, I can take my little pictures and have my little fun. I've not accomplished much around here for the last couple of weeks, so thought I'd tell you a little bird story and show you the latest things I have found at the flea markets. You remember, that old navy man always says - "What are you dragging in now?" when I visit the fleas.
Let's begin with the bird story.....the other day, my next door neighbor and I had a visit out in the yard...she mentioned that a bird nest had fallen out of a tree right next to the bench her husband sits on when he watches the blue bird building a nest in his little church bird house on a post in their back yard. The nest had been laying in the yard for a few days...did I want it? Well, of course, I did! So, here you see that nest. So pretty. I placed the nest in a glass compote (another flea market find) and on the edge of the nest I placed a ceramic bird....so cute. It needs eggs though. Will look for those next time I go to Hobby Lobby or Michael's...in Little Rock.
My flea market finds vary (click on the photos to enlarge)...there are some doilies...one knitted, two crocheted. Very pretty. There is a really nice frame....I've got a collection of those going, so need to be making things to put in them! There are two fabric covered boxes. I can't resist those when I see them and these are in the colors I just love. What about the vintage picture of paper dolls? And, in a green frame...my favorite color...just had to have that. And, they are 'wedding' paper dolls. I should have shown those later when I show a couple of vintage wedding photos...I'll do that soon...as my own anniversary is this month!
Notice that large roll of vintage wallpaper....another "FIND." No telling how many yards are on that roll. I've already shared quite a bit of it with friends......it's just gorgeous! I hope to use it to line some boxes, amongst other things. There is a partial bolt of antique gold colored gimp trim....several yards, another irresistible thing!
And, lastly, look at this beautiful glass flower vase...to hang on the wall! I'd never seen one and couldn't resist buying it. It's about six inches tall, five and a half inches wide at the top and has a hole at the upper back for hanging. It's really pretty. It will go somewhere in my house very soon.
As you can see, there really is no telling what I will 'drag home' from my next trip to the flea market. I have promised myself to curtail my visits to once a month......that's going to be hard to do....well, there's four of them I frequent......perhaps I can visit one each week?
Hope you are well out there....thanks always for your comments...I look forward to the visits with my blogging friends! Stay cool. pat
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
I intended to post before now and thought I'd have something neat to show you....but of all things that could happen....I've LOST my camera! As it turns out, I rarely lose anything that important. Well, I lose patterns, a certain set of buttons, stuff like that, but never do I lose my keys, my camera, my wallet. Yesterday I lost my car keys AND the camera. Found the keys. (Actually, they were right in my purse, I just didn't see them.) There were people here overnight for two nights, with things going on. Guess I just lost my concentration. I am the person the family comes to when something is missing, so it's shocking about the camera. And, you know what that means.....I can't take photos for the blog! I'm sick about it. (Yes, we've looked high and low and everywhere else!)
Until I find it, posting something interesting on my blog might be a big challenge. So, today you get to see the mini-cupcakes I love to make which I photographed a couple of weeks ago. I made these for an event at my daughter's real estate office. They disappeared almost immediately. And, if I do say.....they are scrumptious! (And, most importantly, for your info, they are not my recipe....but rather, a recipe from Paula Deen of Food Network fame. This recipe was in an issue of her magazine.) I've made them MANY times.
(makes 5 dozen or so)
1 (18 1/2 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (3 1/2 ounce) package instant lemon pudding mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat miniature muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs and oil and blend with an electric mixer for two minutes. Spoon one tablespoon into each muffin cup. Bake for 12 minutes. Turn onto a tea towel.
4 cups confectioner's sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Grated zest of one lemon
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water
To prepare the glaze, sift confectioner's sugar into a bowl. Add lemon juice, zest, oil and water and mix until smooth. Dip cupcakes into glaze while cupcakes are still warm, covering as much of the cake as possible. Place cakes on wire racks with waxed paper underneath to catch drips.
Let glaze set thoroughly before storing in container with tight fitting lid.
Let me tell you....storage is not a problem with these, as they will disappear before your very eyes if anyone is near!
A few words about the vintage tablecloth shown on my kitchen table. It is a purchase from the local flea market...quite nice with lovely flowers.....and a black embroidered flourish all around and nicely made, not really big enough for my 48" kitchen table, but I use it anyway! As you know, I love this type of thing and 'hunt' for them all the time.
So, friends out there....have a good 'rest of your week' and I'll post again soon...hopefully with some photos! take care...pat
Sunday, June 6, 2010
As promised on Friday....here is another quilt I have chosen to take from my quilt closet and offer for sale. I am very happy to have found a new home for "Roses on My Table" and it's new owner seems very pleased also. This is a really good thing!
I must tell you about this quilt. It's name is "Afternoon Tea." I am a huge fan of Barb Adams and Alma Allen, a wonderful duo who design and sell quilting books and cross-stitch patterns under the name "BlackBird Designs." Maybe you own some of their publications yourself. When I first found these two several years ago, I just went nuts over their designs and purchased quite a few of their books, the one with this quilt "Small Favorites for All Seasons," and another favorite "Home Sweet Home", being just two of them. I also have several of their cross-stitch publications. These girls are prolific, the books are really good and the pictures just make you want to go buy everything, or live in the rooms and yards shown in their photos. And, currently, they are celebrating their 10th anniversary! Happy Anniversary, Alma, Barb and Blackbird Designs!!!
Another thing you should know about their quilts is they are EASY to applique because
the pieces are quite large and they are great FUN. Coming from a person who loves to do little and tedious, I know what I am talking about...these are very low stress projects, with beautiful results. I know you will enjoy making the designs included in these publications.
If you are interested in making this quilt, or any of their other fantastic designs, here is their information:
Alma's email: email@example.com
Their website: Blackbird Designs
Yesterday, when thinking about posting this quilt for sale, it occurred to me that I might need permission. So, very late last night, I emailed Alma explaining the situation. Whoever would have thought that very early this morning when I checked my email...there would be an answer from Alma. And, I have their permission to sell this quilt. I am so pleased. For your info....the quilt is approximately 36 inches square, completely hand-appliqued (needleturned method) and hand-quilted. (Although many in the books are made on a machine, if you prefer those methods.) If you are interested in my version of their quilt, please email me for the details. I would love to find a nice new home for this quilt also.
Hope your day is a beautiful one and the new week the same. Stay cool and take care, pat
PS. Just in case you want to ask (and people have!) ...I take one quilting stitch at a time....that's just the way it is...perhaps that obsessive/compulsive thing?
Friday, June 4, 2010
Lately I've been thinking a lot about what is going to happen to all my quilts, my embroidered and beaded things, my treasures and all the things I surround myself with in this life. I do especially love the things I have created using my heart, my head, these two hands, some fabric, beads and a needle and thread. It's something to think about and I have mixed emotions. I DO know I can't take all this with me when I go...so, I've decided to sell a couple of things from the quilt closet. A couple. Two now...and more as time goes by.
I've shown you my quilt closet before...it's nice in there and my quilts don't suffer from too much light, etc. I take them out occasionally and rearrange them.....look at them, show them to other people, and promptly put them back. There are some I would never sell...people will just have to fight over them later. Those I hang in various places in the house for a bit, then back in they go.
Anyway, I was in the closet this morning, giving everything the 'once over' trying to decide if any of them could leave today. So, I've decided on two. I'll show you one today and the other one on Sunday. If you are interested in this one living in your home, send me an email and I'll let you know
This one is 28 inches wide and 32 inches long and is called "Roses on My Table." It was great fun to make. As you know, all my work is done by hand and this one is hand quilted with applique, embroidery, silk ribbon embroidery, beading and writing on fabric. There is a tatted butterfly on her shoulder (made by a friend), there are glass beads sewn to the lace curtain trim and her bracelet. The tablecloth is gathered chiffon and the vase is hand-painted with metallic paint. This whole quilt came about because I had that great border print fabric I used on the bottom and the lovely quote, which is one of my favorites.
Yes, this is one way to see that my quilts and things are taken care of...finding them new homes.
Do you feel that way about yours? take care out there, pat
***** Update: Just so you know, I have used these quilts as my teaching samples and sometimes hang them for brief periods of time either in my house or in the Nest when a quilter visits, at an occasional quilt event. They do get attention, but mostly they are preserved in the quilt closet as my house has very little wall space...too many windows and doors for proper quilt display. They look as good now as the day I finished making them. I do, however, have some quilts that hang here most of the time...and those would not be for sale...you'll see them on this post from time to time. So, don't worry that I'm hoarding quilts for no one to see or touch. They get loved. And, I'm happy to report that this little quilt is now SOLD and going to a very nice new home!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
A year or so ago, I bought this bird fan at my favorite flea market. I couldn't believe I found not only a lovely bird fan...but one also connected to, of all things, sewing! Being a person who has sewn since about age twelve, or so, I am always attracted to vintage sewing items. Being a person who loves birds, I'm always attracted to images of birds. Here, in this lovely fan, I found both. On the front is a description of the bird, a Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, 1/2 natural size, a natural size rendition of this bird's egg, the artist's name which is J.L. Ridgway and in the upper left hand corner, the Singer Manufacturing emblem. On the back, more information on Singer Sewing Machines...'selling directly from factory to user.' And, to top it off.....pink roses on the front. It just doesn't get any better.
So, now I'm going to tell you a story. It has nothing to do with this fan....except that what I want you to remember is over this past Memorial Day weekend, we were to have a quiet weekend where we would sit on the front porch and relax...remember me saying that? Here's the true story of the weekend here at the Nest....just so you know.
It all began Friday night when my sister-in-law called to let us know they were going to be gone on Saturday to see her mother-in-law who is ill, but brother-in-law from Texas (my husband's younger brother) had called her saying he was coming up on Saturday with his son and two granddaughters (14 and 8 years old). They were wanting to see my father-in-law, who lives eight blocks from us and is 90 years old. But, of course, he isn't up for entertaining folks without help....that's where I come in. And, of course, I'm willing to do what needs doing as we are a family, after all. So, I plan and grocery shop on Saturday. Since they would get here late that evening, they were to eat out and we'd all have a big get-together on Sunday. And sister-in-law and her husband would be back on Sunday. Turns out they also brought their two grandsons, ages 10 and 6. Remember, I am not used to having any kids around. We had a house full.
I planned a nice lunch for Sunday, got up and started in the kitchen at 6:30 a.m. Since there would be twelve/fourteen of us, I set all three dining tables in my house, put food on to cook, baked a cake, then took a shower, and checked the email. By that time, my father-in-law and brother-in-law arrived. The nephew and his daughters came in about fifteen minutes later, all aflutter, hot and sweaty....turns out he had backed into my driveway, misjudged where the driveway was....and hit my mailbox...severely wounding it, but not killing it. The real issue was his wife's new car....scratches down the side, a dent over the taillight and the rear passenger window shattered to bits all over the driveway. Out we go with brooms, dustpans, an empty cardboard box to put the glass in, all kinds of tools to put the mailbox back in order....and the sun beating down on all our heads. I've never seen so many tiny pieces of glass scattered in such a way. And, it was so sultry, we knew it was going to rain.....so what to do about the open window? The next day they were going to be driving back to Waco, Texas, from whence they came.
We were all trying to figure out what to do, when my nephew noticed that Bob, my father-in-law had come out on the porch, started down my steps, grabbed the railing and fell.
It happened really quickly. Now, he's 90, frail, loses his balance, and can't see well. We've NO idea why he did that...very out of character as he usually stays in the house. And, me, nearsighted as I am and nearly out in the street could see his arm and blood just oozing. We ran quickly over, got him up on the porch while I ran to get wet towels. It wasn't pretty! The kids were all wired, we were all worried, I've got lunch going still and we decide Gramps needs to go to the emergency room. (It's a holiday weekend!) My sister-in-law and her youngest brother took him there (did I tell you she is close to a saint?)
Well, lunch was kind of a disaster......everyone ate, eventually, but it was stressful. The kids were fine, and since I don't have kid 'stuff' here, we got out lots of paper, markers, etc., and some made paper snowflakes, some drew, some watched tv. My refrigerator is now full of artwork! The six year old went out and started our riding lawn mower!!!
They made it back from the hospital in time for us all to go out to my daughter's house, where I had planned to have a pancake supper. So, the car had to be loaded with all the ingredients, bacon, milk, eggs, pancake mix, syrup...and so forth. That old navy man drove, with Bob in the front seat and me in the back. Halfway there, we had a rain storm so bad you could see absolutely nothing. We were virtually sitting ducks in the middle of the street! Slowly we made it to Kelly's and I found that my big umbrella was not in the car, just a small flimsy one. It was crazy getting Bob out of the car and into Kelly's house....unloading all the stuff was a very damp experience and I nearly fell on the concrete floors because my shoes were dripping water. What an experience.
I set up the griddles (Yes, they were in the car too) and began to cook six pounds of bacon. Yes! six. Then, when it came time to make the pancakes.....I realized I had forgotten the eggs. Of all times to forget something! I could have sworn I put them in the car. Daughter went to the store (bless her heart!) and we cooked lots of pancakes.
A good time was had by all....eventually! At 9:30 that night, we came home, exhausted. Why am I telling you this? Because my story on Friday was we would relax on the porch. Several times over the weekend, I kept remembering something the guys at work always told my husband....that the Eatons had a 'little black cloud' hanging over their house. Yes, we do, but I've always thought we could overcome that fact and I'm still trying.
So, this evening, I am going to sit on that porch...maybe with this bird fan....and picture what it would have looked like from the street if passersby could have stood and watched our weekend story 'unfold.' We won't soon forget it, that's for sure. Y'all have a good week out there! take care, pat
PS. No, I've no idea what my niece said to my nephew about her car when he got home...but I can imagine! ****Added at 11:36 p.m: I DID get to sit on the porch this evening for about twenty minutes. It was quite nice and I received a reward for doing it....hundreds of lightning bugs! They looked like diamonds sparkling in my yard, up and down the street, across the street in the church parking lot....just beautiful!! Oh, and I used the fan too!