Tuesday, April 7, 2020

What Are You Making?

 In my blog post of March 20th,  I invited YOU to share with my readers something you have been working on or have made that you might want to share with us.  A couple of you responded.   First was my friend, Sherry.  And, then, Marilyn and Kay sent me some photos.  I am happy to share with you some of their work.

So, I will begin with Marilyn.

 I have never met Marilyn.  She is one of my blog readers living far away from me.  Like you and many others.  But she comments on my blog a lot and sometimes we email each other.  Just a little 'extra' conversation.  One of the wonders of the internet machine.  Marilyn makes all kinds of wonderful things and I've chosen from a selection of photos she sent.  She is also a thoughtful person giving many of her pieces to friends and relatives.   

I thought these items made from paper were particularly sweet along with several different cards.
 With Easter coming...the little paper baskets seem like a great little gift, filled with candy, eggs, etc.
Seems they would fit about any occasion made with a different choice in decorative paper.

 I loved this little card/book.
This would be more than a card...it's the whole gift if you ask me.



 This one a good choice for these days and times:  KEEP CALM
 We could all use encouragement in that direction.

"Bloom where you are planted," they say.

Thank you, Marilyn, for your lovely work.  You probably didn't know you were being so encouraging. 
Marilyn is one of those new friends you can make an old one out of.


 And, then, there is my friend, Kay.
I have known Kay for many years.  You may remember me mentioning her several times over the years.  Kay is a very kind and most generous person...always an inspiration to those of us around the state who know her personally.  She is very talented also.  I think she is one of the most talented people I have EVER met.  Just saying.  And, you just haven't had FUN if you haven't been on a 
Do-Dah Day with her  (and a couple other friends from Mountain View too!)

 So, I chose some of her photographs to share with you. 
She got this mirror last time I saw her at the flea market in Beebe.
It DIDN'T look like this.  In fact, I was surprised she took it home....but then, she performed her magic.  Totally redoing it....adding this photo and then making it look ancient!  Just what we love, OLD and worn by time and use.  Kay, it is wonderful!

 I gave Kay this special button.  I bought it at the Houston Quilt Festival long ago.  (Oh, I wish I had bought more!!)
Then, she added it to this heart pin.  Can you see that it is a tiny hand holding a white envelope with a tiny bluebird perched on it.  So dear.  What a combo!!!  So sweet and so old-fashioned.  Kay, it is dear!!!  

 Here it is with a different background.  LOVELY!

And, lastly, a little bird Kay appliqued to this remnant of a quilt.
I couldn't read the words there in this photo, but I know the gist of what she was saying.
At some point, I had told her about one of the English artists I admire.  Her name is Mandy Patullo.  She has a blog named Thread and Thrift.  I love what she does...like I love what Kay does.
I think Kay made this in tribute to Mandy and her work.  We both admire it so.

Thank you, Kay, for reminding me once again!
Many years ago, Kay told me of a quote she loved. And, I have loved it too:

Henry Van Dyke

So, once again, if you want me to share something you created....email a photo...I guess it's my blog's version of Show and Tell.

Wherever you may be this day
Bird Nest Cottage 

Friday, April 3, 2020

My Grandmother and the Flu Pandemic of 1918

 The Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918 
killed 50 million people Worldwide, including 
675,000 in the United States.
One of the victims was my Grandmother.
My Dad's Mother.
She had eleven children. They lived in Philadelphia.
Her name was Margaret Cafferty Williams.
You see her here in this photo.
The little girl in the photo is her daughter, Marquerite, one of my dad's older sisters.
After her death, my Dad, Cyril Joseph Williams, born in 1909,
and the younger children went into the Catholic Orphanage in Philadelphia,
where he spent several years, leaving when his sister, my Aunt Marquerite,
lied about his age so he could join the army, which he actually did, at age 16.


 Here is his photo, taken at that long ago time. 
 My Dad stayed in the army until 1954.
I don't know what happened to all eleven of the children.  I did have the pleasure of being with my Aunt Marguerite at least three times in my life. 
 My Dad passed away in 1973.  Just the other day, I was reminded that if alive today, he would be 111 years old. He didn't speak of his childhood very much...I expect it was very difficult.  And, I've no idea what happened to my Grandfather.  
I do wish I had been able to meet my Grandparents.

 My aunt told me that I "had my Grandmother's hands."
I don't know if she loved sewing by hand like I do...but I choose to think I got it from her.
I also think she would have loved seeing my children, her Great-Grandchildren.

now we are in another pandemic.
  100 years later.
History repeats itself.
Because, it seems, we never learn.

Do listen to those that know.
Do think of others.
Do all you can, where you are, with what you have.
Let's help each other get through this.

Wherever you may be this day
Bird Nest Cottage 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020


Kelly Vanhook

You are a wonderful daughter!

The other day, Kelly brought me some delicious BBQ
from a local food truck.  YUM.
With not leaving the house, she was afraid I didn't have enough food.  
Not true...yet. 
But,  wasn't that a nice gesture?

And, today, is her 53rd birthday.

No parties these days, so we will do that later,
but I thought you might want to see her.

She is cool!
From the moment she was born, we have always called her the 
Cruise Director
as she began telling us all what to do since birth!
She is a people person. 


 This is Kelly with her brother, Scott.
She came first and fifteen months later...
he came, giving her another person to take under her wing.
This photo was taken in San Francisco, June 2018.
She and I flew there to celebrate his 50th birthday.

After all those years of hearing that one or the other was taking up all the space in the back seat of the car....and such things,
it's nice to see how close they really are.
Makes a mother proud!!!

 And, of course, Scott with mom...this year.
(Kelly taking the picture)


So, Kelly....
On your birthday, 
know you really are a wonderful daughter
and you helped me bring up your equally wonderful brother.
I couldn't have done it without you!

Wherever you may be this day
Bird Nest Cottage


Monday, March 30, 2020

The Heartprint Winners for March

Well, here we are...another set of winners to announce.  I hope y'all are well and your Sheltering In...going well too.  And, although I can't send everyone a Heartprint...(wouldn't that be FUN), I'm happy to be sending out two a month and I am thinking of all of you as I stitch these little pieces, wishing you the best of everything...we will make it through these trying days.

So, the winners this month are:

Julie Fukuda and Carol sferra 

 This is Julie's Heartprint.  Julie has been a long time reader of my blog....and I thought of this being in her greenhouse bedroom the whole time I was making it. 

 You can certainly tell these are made from old quilts....the fabrics are quite worn...but I'm thinking they will last a pretty long time.


 And, the hearts....well, I will always love those!

 And, this Heartprint belongs to Carol sferra. 
I'm trying to make these with some small differences between them,
so they won't all be identical.

Hope both of you ENJOY!


 The usual hearts, and one of my favorite things...embroidered Fantasy Flowers.  I call them that because they really don't look anything like real flowers.  
And, it's okay.

  Hoping you all stay safe and well during the next weeks and months. 

Wherever you may be this day
Bird Nest Cottage

Saturday, March 21, 2020

What are YOU making?

Isn't this pretty! 

A Crazy-quilt in progress.
 Sherry in Little Rock


One of my simple knitted scarves.  Always one in progress here. 

So...what are you making?  

Wherever you may be this day
Bird Nest Cottage

Thursday, March 19, 2020

"To Work With Your Hands"

"Aspire to live a quiet life, to mind your own affairs and to work with your hands."

1 Thessalonians 4:11

That's pretty much how I have always felt about the quilting, embroidery, crocheting, knitting, etc., that has taken my spare time throughout this life of mine.
Now that we are all traveling through what seems to be a nightmare and since we are being urged to stay home to keep our families safe...it seems to make sense even more.  To my way of thinking working with my hands has taken on an even deeper purpose.

I'm partial to all kinds of needlework, so that is what you will see from me, but YOU might be making a multitude of other kinds or work and it  may do the same thing for you that needlework does for me.
A way of being productive and at the same time, soothing the spirit, calming fears,
and giving your sometimes nervous hands AND mind something to do.  It's a meditation, a prayer, a way of coping. Something to get lost in.
Actually, something also that might re-energize and feed your soul.

Staying home is not so difficult for me because basically, I am a hermit.  But it is difficult for some people.  Perhaps now might be a good time to learn how to make something.  Even children can knit or crochet, even quilt.  Google and the internet machine has thousands of videos that will teach you to cook, build a birdhouse, make a garden or just about anything else you might want to know.  Take a look.  Some things may help YOU relax...some things may be good for a small group...like a family. To create something is FUN.  Everyone could make a very simple book of their own, for instance.  There's always lots of paper around...such as the envelopes holding junk mail.  See. 
I've always heard that busy hands are happy hands.

So, we've got to get through all this someway.  I  may even finish this quilt which is been hanging around my house for years.  

On the odd day here and there, I will post a photo or two of some work in progress around here...maybe some work finished.  No stories...hopefully the work will speak for itself.
Would you like me to show some of what you are working on?  If so, just email a photo to me and I'll include it on one of these "odd" days.  If you'd rather, I can just use your first name...or not.
It might be fun to see how other people use handwork or other things to cope through these times.
 You can find my email address on my profile page. 

I will look forward to hearing from some of you...meantime, let your handwork help you in these trying days. I will too.

Wherever you may be this day

Monday, March 16, 2020

And, One for a Friend

I am currently working on the Heartprints for the March winners.
They will be announced on the 29th.
While I am stitching two a month for my blog Giveaway, I am also making one or two a month for an assortment of non-bloggers I am attached to in my 'real life.'
So, here is one I made for my friend Kathy and her other self "Lola."
I wanted you to see it too.  I will give it to her this coming Wednesday if I actually get to the store that day.
Because of the virus that has us all mortified, I may or may not leave home that day.
Fingers crossed, I will though.  And, she will squeal and be delighted and we will laugh and this small little thing will help us get through another day.  And, we will.
And, you will.  We must be determined.  We must never give up.
So, I hope you enjoy seeing this one.

 I took some photos of this Heartprint in several places around the house.  
You can put them just about anywhere and I thought you might want to see where I might put them here in my rather full Bird Nest Cottage.  One never knows where I will put anything or even how long I
might leave an object in any one place.  It's a game I play if nothing else.
This one was taken on my desk.  My desk is in my bedroom. 
My sewing studio is also in my bedroom.  Yes, it's crowded. 
 Come to think of it,  my whole house seems to be the studio.
No, it doesn't bother me...I love it.

I wanted to use a lot of these little hearts for these "prints."
 I have made them for many years, but until now....not for a while.
It's amazing how I have lost my touch with them, but, I'm still going to make them.

 This is in my dining room.  Actually, they are placed on a stack of books. 


 It's ok, but I think I'd rather put it somewhere else.  It's all experimental, that's for sure.


 Here, it just placed against a  kind of embossed painted board I got from Kathy.  This isn't going to be it either.
I know I would prefer a different place.


 This is one corner of my kitchen....to the left of my sink.
You will notice that I have temporarily placed a gallon jar of buttons right in the big middle of the whole thing.  I've placed a blue bird inside the jar...just for the fun of it. 
This is my favorite part of the kitchen.  And, as is my usual....it's over crowded.  
I love it anyway...and of course, the jar won't stay there...I just did it for this photo. 
 But, that means I also get to find another place for the jar/bird situation.


 That little painting is one of my favorite things in the house. 
 It's so SWEET!
I really don't remember where I got it...but I love it so.  Some of what you find in my house came from Kathy's flea market and a most of the time from her own house.  We have the same taste in what we call junk....but think of as TREASURE.

 This photo was taken just a bit further down the cabinet.  
And, right above is a bird with a crown.
Turns out Kathy gave me that bird.
Then on another visit, she gave me the crown.
I felt it just belonged on the bird.

 This is also in the dining room.  
That's a French Market basket with wheels holding all those paper rolls.  I love the way it looks.
 Wrapping paper and wall papers.  Who wouldn't love those?
Well, probably a lot of people.
But, they don't live here, so it's ok.
And, for some reason, I like the Heartprint perched right up in there!

 A glorious sight to behold from my point of view!


 Here we are on the kitchen island.
It won't stay here long either, but I really do like the looks of it here.
I usually have that pretend rose on my desk.


 And, here it is again, same place, but sitting in this chintz patterned dish or tray.  I'm not sure what it is to be used for....I can't read the mark on the back...but I think it might be from England. 
So, there you are.
Several views of a Heartprint around the house.
I intended to show it in my big bookshelf in the living room...but then, I would have had to dust!

You have probably noticed the time when I post is nearly always in the middle of the night.
I'm a terrible sleeper.
So, don't be surprised if I'm awake all night.
I think its a habit more than anything.
Also, I seem to think I will be missing something if I sleep.
Yes, I am an odd old bird.

I found this online...one of those things where you find yourself somewhere on the net but don't know how you got there.
It spoke to me.

"3 AM is the hour of writers,
painters, poets, musicians, silence seekers,
overthinkers and creative people.
We know who you are.
We can see your light on.  
Keep on keeping on." 


until next time
Bird Nest Cottage

A Bit of Heaven

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