Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pretty Pink Stuff






Today is a beautiful day....sunny, warmer, and not a cloud in the sky. It's very much appreciated over the cold weather we have had lately. They are saying we will have rain in the next few days and that's ok with me...rainy days are my favorite. So, I was sitting at the computer looking at the pictures in my iPhoto and decided I should show you some pretty pink stuff. I suppose in my mind...Pink equals Pretty Day!

I'm trying to broaden my color preferences....but to be truthful, I do love pink, red, and green about the best. Especially green. But, since I've hunted and gathered at the flea market for so long....other colors have crept into the studio...and that's a GOOD thing. But, pink...especially a soft pink...well, it's irresistible. And, with the pretty day....some pink stuff in the studio can remind me that Spring will come soon.

So, here we are. I have a vintage apron collection...and here is the hemline of one of them. It's currently being worn by the resident mannequin in my backyard studio. Love the pink girl and the flowers. Well, yes, there is that blue crochet making up her dress. It's wonderful too. I'll save 'pretty blue stuff' for another day!

Here is some of the beautiful pink items in my pink box. I have several old jewelry boxes....each has it's own color theme. This is a sample of what's in the box. Some tatting - one of the few needlework methods I have never learned to do...but I love. It's pretty in pink! That piece with the leaves is a necklace....I think from the 50's. Pins, buttons, etc., I'm always on the lookout for them.

I have a framed collection of old sewing notions.....this is a portion of it. I know that 'just like me' you are looking for this same type of thing at the flea markets. Fun, isn't it?

I bought this framed lithograph a couple of years ago. JUST BECAUSE the pink shadows and the trees were so gorgeous.....and I also LOVE pictures with old houses. I can almost imagine walking down this little street! It is by Robert Spencer and called "Roadside Dwellings." I paid $2 for it and I've gotten lots of pleasure from just seeing it 'across the room' as I work. It's 8" x 10."

Lastly, one of my handstitched appliqued and embroidered scenes. It is 3 1/2" x 4." Tiny. And, I loved making it. One of my favorite things to stitch is a French Knot and I like making little trees using those knots. Actually, when the fruit trees bloom....I always think of French Knots.
Isn't that funny? So, here I've created my own tiny blooming fruit trees. Such fun!

So, there you have it....some 'pretty pink stuff' for a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Hope you enjoy seeing things as much as I have enjoyed collecting them. Take care out there and have a lovely weekend. pat

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Way We Look Here These Days...






Well, can you believe it's the 22nd of January already? I can't. Time sure flies around here...seems to go by faster every day. Usually in January, as I seem to remember anyway...things are kind of quiet, giving me time to recover from the holidays. Now, I didn't say boring, as I have never been bored...so much to do...so little time and all that. But, I can remember when January seemed to give me time to be all calm, quiet and cozy so I could plan what to do with the coming year. Because of our weather and time going by so fast, THIS January seems to have flown by giving me only enough time to get to the grocery store and stock up on food and so forth before the next SNOW comes along. And, although the snowfall we've had so far seems to satisfy my need to actually SEE snow...I'm hearing we may be in for more. At this rate, February will be here tomorrow and the month I thought was quiet will be gone til next year. And, Christmas could be arriving any minute.

Because snow has been on the ground here so much lately, I thought I'd show you some photos I've taken. They aren't that great, but will give you an idea of what things have looked like this month. Now, granted, there are places around the country where the snow has piled many feet high (oh, how I feel for those nice people!!)....but remember, we usually don't get any....so our three to five inches seems like a lot to
us....and it's plenty for me.

Here is our house in the snow. I took this photo from the church parking lot across the street where I walk every afternoon. And, yes, I have been walking...even in the snow....except for a couple of days when the wind was so cold I couldn't stand it. Anyway, here's the house...even it looks cold!

This tree is in our backyard and one of my favorites to photograph. I thought it looked very pretty with a coating of snow. One thing I like about the trees in snow....is that I can actually see the birds in the trees easier. One afternoon I managed to snap this photo of several birds perched in this tree. They looked so cold, and unhappy with me - they'd really just like to come have a snack on our back deck - as we feed them daily. Actually, I took this photo from the doorway of the Nest....when I walk out of either house, they seem to know I have a camera and fly away in all directions. No matter how I try to sneak around here....I'm able to get very few photos of the birds. Darn it!

The fourth photo I took late one night. I wanted to come out to the Nest (my backyard studio)....where my computer lives....and check my email, etc. So, you can see my footprints. The last photo is of the Nest. I took this photo the night before from the doorway of my house around 10:00 p.m. and with no lights. Although the little house looks dark and gloomy....and cold, this photo is amazing to me because usually at that time of the night it's dark as can be. The snow just seems to light up the night~

So, that brings to me NOW. It's cold, but not as cold. The snow has melted except for shady places.....and I'm ready for some of that slow, cozy January I usually expect to get. Let's see...I've got my spiral notebook....I've got ideas....how about I hide all the clocks, start a fire in the fireplace and brew a nice hot cup of tea!
Y'all take care out there....pat

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"White Lace Inspiration"






What with snow falling all over the place lately, it seems my thoughts fall on Whitework.
You know how I am - things I see in my daily life remind me of things to SEW....here lately the snow reminds me of how beautiful lace, whitework embroidery, crochet, etc., really are. So, I thought I'd use my camera to photograph some of the whitework I have here in the Nest. I bet you have it too.

I guess you could say these pieces are a 'few of my favorite things.' And, there are lots of them in the Nest. So for today, I chose these pieces to share with you.

The first photo is of some old bobbins I have. For years they just sat around and I would look at them and wonder how to use them. One day my gaze just happened to land on these bobbins as I was looking through some lace....and presto....the bobbins were then wrapped with different laces. I LOVE the way these look and wonder why I didn't do this sooner.

The next photo is of some crocheted 'church purses.' One of my favorite things in the Nest. The one in the back I found many years ago at a garage sale. I paid five cents for it. FIVE CENTS!!
I still can't get over it. Because I liked it so much, I decided to make one of my own a couple of years ago and it is the one in front....it is approximately 2 1/2" x 3" and the other one is approximately 2" x 1 3/4." I have made a couple others as gifts for special people I know.

The third photo is a small tray liner or dresser scarf. It's vintage...I think. This is one I am just not sure of....but isn't it pretty? Lace and embroidery in one item....LOVE it!!!

Next is a vintage collar.....elaborate and just gorgeous. You can see something different every time you look at this one. And, it's very delicate. Beautiful!

At some point in life...I don't remember when, I found these lacy gloves at the flea market. They are beautiful too. As I've said before, I always wonder who owned my flea market treasures before I got them....applies to these things too. I wonder??? I have much more lace than this...but thought for today, I'd choose to show these to you...do they inspire you as they do me? Ummm, yeah....I thought so!

You have a good day out there, stay warm and take care, pat

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Very Old Log Cabin Quilt






The other day, I took this quilt from the quilt closet. I wanted to hang something 'warm' in the backyard studio. I usually hang this quilt for a month or so in the winter...for exactly that reason - to warm me up - and then I take it down to carefully store it back in the quilt closet. It's very fragile. I think you can tell that by looking at the photo. It is approximately 75 inches x 82 1/2 inches. The blocks are 7 1/2 inches....and not exactly square anymore. No telling how old it is...but I'm guessing a good bit over a hundred years old.

Don't you wonder where it's been and who made it? It's the Court House Square setting and why, I've no idea (except to make it wider ??) they've added a row of Pineapple blocks to the left side. It has holes in it and is practically in ruins (there are two blocks missing with a solid piece basted in), but to me it is just gorgeous. I paid $6 for it at the flea market a few years ago. I think I've shown it to you before, but, like so many of the things we like...it doesn't hurt to see it again. It doesn't have any batting in it, but does have a nice homespun fabric on the back. Some of the 'logs' are stitched down...just to keep them in place. It's heavy fabric...I feel sure it is made from bits of clothing.

I'd love to make a version of it someday. Guess I should begin if I ever intend to finish it, you think? For right now, I am content to sit here and work and glance over at it every little bit and think....'whoever you are lady, and wherever you may be....you made a wonderful quilt and I love it.' $6 just doesn't seem enough for this lovely work of art....

Hope you are all warm and safe....take care out there, pat

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Angel Food Cake from a Friend




Here's a little corner of my kitchen. These photos were taken yesterday (Monday, 1-10-11). It was COLD outside...I wasn't going anywhere as it SNOWED! Now, for those of you who live where it snows a lot....I'm sure you know by now that people who live in my area do not know how to navigate their cars in snow and ice. I certainly don't, nor do I even want to leave the house when we do have snow and/or ice. To be honest, I don't like to drive. I only do it to get from Point A to Point B and back again. I'm sure my dislike of driving is partially because I have crummy vision. (My son says my car has hands that feel the road!) So, this kind of weather just allows me to have a legitimate reason for staying in the house.

Monday, I decided that since I was not going ANYWHERE....it would be a good day to bake something. Normally, I would bake something chocolate, as that old navy man LOVES his chocolate. Do you remember me saying that I am allergic to chocolate? Oh, so true. And, really, I'm not much on sweets, so it doesn't bother me to make chocolate cakes, brownies, etc. But, once in a great while, I'd like a little tidbit of some kind. Knowing this, my friend, Kelley, gave me an Angel Food Cake pan and a cake mix for my birthday back in October. Once, when our little Knot group was at her house, she made us an Angel Food Cake and I had a 'fit' over her cake pan. She promised that if she ever ran across another one, she'd get it for me. That was a long time ago, but on my last birthday....sure enough, she presented me with this cake pan. It's so cool. It only took me three months to actually use it!!

According to the instructions that came with the pan, you can use it for Angel Food Cake, breads and any number of things. I love that it has a little tab on each corner that allows you to
cool the cake upside down. It's a Wilton pan.....and I now have plans for using it to make other things also. Cute, huh? As I said, Kelley also gave me an Angel Food Cake Mix. She said she had tried homemade, then bought a mix and thought it worked just fine. Who am I to argue with her...well, you wouldn't argue with Kelley....she's nearly always right. And, I mean that.
So, I made the cake and as you can see here...it turned out well. I like that I can slice it like bread rather than in wedges as you would with a regular shaped Angel Food Cake.

That old navy man even liked it...although it isn't chocolate...he thought it was good. Would have been better, he said, if it did have some chocolate smeared on it! This morning, he took some to my father-in-law. I happen to know that Angel Food Cake is one of his favorites. I think a guy over 90 years old ought to have one of his favorite cakes once in a while, so I hope he enjoys it.

You can see that 'little corner' of my kitchen....it's a very small kitchen....not meaning to be crude, or anything, but I actually call it a 'one butt' kitchen because it's so small. There's no way I can have anyone help me cook! I have some of those flea market finds in the kitchen, too, and that tin tray and the green glass items...well, they came from the flea market...my favorite place to shop.

So, there you are....how I spent part of my 'snow day.' And, celebrated my October birthday at the same time. Thanks, Kelley, you are such a dear friend....and hugs to you and Doodle!!!
Y'all take care out there....stay safe and warm....pat

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Screen Door and a Pantry






This is a little story about a screen door and how it came to my house. You've all heard me talk about things given to me by my son-in-law when he sold the building his family owned. It was a clothing store, in business for many years, and I've shown you the sewing machine he gave me from the alterations department, the ceiling tin (which I recently hung on the wall in my backyard studio), ledgers, a gorgeous green porcelain heater (which I will show you another day), a wonderful door I have in the living room, and two screen doors, amongst other, smaller things.

For this story, I am focusing on the screen doors. Well, one of them. I have plans for the other and you will see it sometime later. They are old...he doesn't remember why they were on the third floor of their downtown business, but I asked for them and Rick even helped me get them to my house. (He really IS dear!). Truthfully, though, he does think I'm kind of weird, I know he does, but he keeps it to himself.

So, I had this screen door, which I LOVED, and there was only one thing left to do....and that was to figure out what I was going to do with it. Somewhere along the way....I decided that the screen door should hang in my kitchen....in the doorway to my pantry. Now, let's remember, the door is pretty old and let's say...not in great shape. But, me being me, I think it is gorgeous and I like the idea of hanging it there. My brother-in-law, Rick (yes, another Rick) is a carpenter. He and my sister recently came to visit and I talked him into hanging this door for me. He just grinned and said, "Where do you want it?" (I actually have another screen door.....of all places - going into the garage. No way I'm showing that garage!!!! Maybe someday after it's been decluttered. Someday.) Oh, back to the pantry......So, Rick put the door up for me. Now, I KNEW I'd just love it....and my sister did too. Everyone else...well....let's say they didn't say much about it.

Here you are....the screen door into the pantry. My pantry is also my laundry room. I prefer to call it the Pantry....and leave off the laundry title. I don't think laundry is much fun, however, I do love to see things "in a row," so love the pantry part of this room. Last week I got in here and straightened it up, as over the holidays it had become one big mess and I like things sort of organized. Once straight...or as straightened as I intended to get it (without a major overhaul)....I figured you should see it. You know....as a homemaker, when we do some work we'd like people to acknowledge it....and the old navy man certainly wouldn't notice as he rarely goes in there! So....you're it!

You can see it going in...then, you see it on the way out.....that Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt is a vintage baby quilt....LOVE it! What you can't see is that the quilt hides our electric breaker box. Lots of flea market finds in this room....there are shelves all around the ceiling which I can't manage to show very well in a photo....it's a great room. Someone said I'd get really tired opening and shutting that door each time I needed something from the pantry or had to put another load in the washer. Maybe I really AM weird....as everytime I open it....it takes me back to years ago when I would go in and out of my grandmother's screen door, so I'm actually ENJOYING it!

What do you think? Do you love it too, or do you think I'm just one weird blogger? (I'm smiling!!!) take care out there, pat

Monday, January 3, 2011

Soft Light and a Quilt






Tell me something. Do you have a spot in your home that makes you feel good just to look at it?
You know...you walk by the door and have to stop and look. Really look. Every time. When I was young, we often had the windows open, (since none of us had air-conditioning in Texas in those days) and I loved to see the curtains gently wave in the slight breeze coming in the windows. A sight like that can still stop me in my tracks and I have to stand and look.

This is my bedroom. It is the smallest bedroom in our house....really only room for this bed and a small dresser. I took this room when the old navy man had to have an oxygen machine in his room...well, that and his tv blasting away every night. He can sleep like a baby in a room with a machine running AND a tv going...but not me. So, this became my room...and I love it. The bed was a gift from my friend, Sherry, and with the exception of the sheets and bedspread, just about everything else in here is from my favorite place...the flea market. The bed is tall, so I have to have a stool to get in it...I'm sure I look pretty funny climbing in that bed, but no one sees, so it's ok.

And, there is only that one window. The curtain is an old lace one, which I got for $6. I love the design in it.....now picture that curtain waving gently in the breeze when this window is open....beautiful. And, in the a.m. the light in this room is so soft and pretty....sometimes I just stand in the doorway and 'look.' I wonder who owned that curtain before and did they stand and watch it wave gently in the breeze? Yes, I wonder. Who slept in that bed? Could they possibly know how much I love these things, "their" things.

Then, there's that quilt. An eight pointed star quilt I purchased.....at the flea market. It is soft as soft can be.....hand pieced and quilted. All those star points, all those little triangles. Each star is about six inches square. There are hundreds of pieces in this quilt and I love sleeping under it. When it's really cold, I take it into the old navy man's tv room, where I'm allowed to have a recliner (that's supposed to be funny!) and I get all comfy and cover up with that quilt and watch tv with him. His current favorites are Pawn Stars and American Pickers...plus football....and next month Nascar. Being able to sit there and enjoy that soft quilt and all those stars and triangles adds a lot to the experience! I wonder about the person who made this quilt....could she know how much I love it? I hope so.

Yes, that quiet bedroom, that soft light coming through the curtain.....that wonderful quilt....I am lucky to have these things. And the old navy man....well, I'm lucky to have him too. And, to have you, my blogging friends...hope you are well tonight! 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.