Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Remembering a Small Boy

Today I am remembering a small boy I used to know.  He was so cute!  Today is his birthday.  He is my one and only grandchild....Tyler.  It's almost impossible to believe, as time does pass so fast, but as of today, he is TWENTY-SEVEN!!!  Where did that little kid go?  Nowadays, he is six feet two and two hundred pounds. 
A while back, I showed you a quilt I made for him when he was a little kid....along with a doll quilt to match.  I didn't show the doll as I remember....thinking I'd save it to show today.  So, here it is.  I made this doll using scraps from the quilts for his clothing...and a skein of DMC floss for his hair.
Ty did like the doll, sleeping with it the times he took a nap under that quilt....so it has some wear, but not much.  He always said he was 'saving him' for later for his own kid.  
At a much later point in time, I found this cute red tricycle at a flea market.  It was just the right size.  And, because I had the doll at my house, I thought it perfect to bring home to display the doll.  I also had a little basket which I thought would be ever so cute attached to the tricycle with some flowers added.  (I don't think Ty much cared for that part!!)  So...here he is...waiting to be used by some other little boy....at some future date in time.  (Well, yes, I can and will remove the flowers!)
He's about twelve inches tall....and seems just right for the tricycle.  So, ok, the flowers may be a bit much....but so?

Yeah....seems like yesterday Ty was that little kid.  Still, I remember
how he loved his blue star quilt......he asked me some years later to save it for him and I have.  So, someday it will go to his house...but, for now, I wish him a wonderful birthday and many, many more!  Happy Birthday, Ty!!!

Y'all take care out there, stay cool, and visit later in the week for a peek at one of the craziest things I have ever purchased!  pat

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Pretty Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt

Once again, I am showing you a quilt top recently purchased from one of my local flea markets.  This is a full size, hand-pieced quilt top.  And, very well done, I must say.  I'm assuming from the fabrics used that it was made in the 30's or 40's.  I could very well be wrong on that, but it does have 'that green' from that era. And, many of the other fabrics seem to fit that time period.  But, who really knows. 
The piecing is very nice....the hexagons are two inches wide, a little wider than my favorite size would be...but very well done and quite pretty.  (Yes, it would have been really nice of me to iron the quilt top before photographing it, but I thought it might be ok without it.  Next time, I will just do that as it would make a better photo.)
Love all the different prints making up these 'flowers.'  I am often drawn to vintage quilts with a multitude of different prints included in them.  Love the pinks here and I think my favorite print
in the quilt is this one which is kind of a gray/black with yellow and orange flowers.  Who knew (??) as that combination would normally be maybe the last combo I would choose!  It's just a really 'different' print.
All the centers are green and yellow.  It looks very nice and of course, very vintage.  Because the piecing was done so carefully and the top is in such good condition, this will be a quilt top that I will actually take the time to quilt.  I can hardly wait for winter!!!
If you've never visited my blog before, this bed is out in my backyard studio....which is why you see all the 'stuff' in the background.  If you have visited before, then you know about all the stuff I seem to 'hoard.'  I'd normally call it a 'stash' or a 'collection' but it seems to be having a mind of it's own and taking over the place!
Looking at these photos right now just makes me want to take a nap.....I can tell you this bed is really comfortable.  People have actually slept in the bed IN my backyard studio...but I haven't.  Hmmm, not a bad idea!
Once again, I have placed the quilt where it's longer on one side, just so you can see more of it.  I
particularly like the border...lots of room for some really pretty quilting!  Again, sorry I didn't iron the quilt first.  The white hexagons are appliqued to the green background...just the way I would have done.....I so appreciate the work this person did to make this quilt.  And, as always, I know you want to know....it was only $12.  Who wouldn't buy it???  Y'all stay cool and safe out there....I hope you are enjoying your summer!  pat

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sky, Storms and a Tiny Airplane

Ok...this is my story and I'm sticking to it!  It all began in late afternoon, oh, around 5:30 or 6:oo p.m.
I was walking from my backyard studio to the house trying to think what I was going to do for supper.  You know, that old navy man has to eat.  As I tend to do, I looked up into the sky and saw the whitest clouds I think I've ever seen, (see those clouds in the back of this photo?) so I ran into the house, got my trusty little camera and headed out the front door to the porch.  Since these clouds were moving from east to west, I figured I'd get a better view of them from there as our house faces East.  So, I snapped a bunch of photos.

Those clouds were just huge, blooming like a flower, just growing before my very eyes and were gorgeous!  In front of the very white ones, were some that looked kind of dark...a grey bordering on some weird color of green.  I immediately thought of hail.  And, they were moving fast.  (Now remember, we haven't had rain in a very long time!)

So, I was getting excited...I love thunderstorms and thought for sure this would be a good one.  About midway up that power pole on the right, you should be able to see a tiny little dot of an airplane.  I couldn't believe it was flying at that point in time.  Do you see it?
Maybe this photo will help.  Do you see it now?  We live not far from the airport (Ok, it's a small airport!) and I've tried many times to photograph a plane around here, but I'm slow to focus on them, so this time I just aimed the camera and held my breath.  See that little plane up there to the left of the power pole?  Cute, isn't it?  And, I actually photographed a plane!!!  Look how nasty those clouds are looking.  
Near the horizon, you can see the storm clouds and I was listening for the tornado sirens.  Didn't hear a thing, but felt the wind getting stronger.  I guess I should say that this power pole is right in my front yard by the curb and you can look straight down a line of them...going East.  Most people would not like a power pole in their front yard like that, but, when your husband works for the power company for 40+ years....those poles represent your income, so we've never minded.  And, me, being the type of girl who thinks she may 'spontaneously combust' at any moment....they represent the A/C and I'm thankful to have it!
So, now the clouds are really moving and there is lots of thunder.  I call my son, who lives in San Francisco, hoping to let him hear the thunder over the phone.  He loves thunderstorms also and says they never have them there.  He doesn't answer, so he missed some of the 'sounds of nature' as the old navy man calls them.
There were birds out flying too.  I managed to catch a photo of one of them...another thing I try to do and more often than not, fail.  
No rain yet, but lots of wind and thunder.  I just loved seeing the layers of clouds, way back in this photo, you can see blue sky...just look between those trees.
This photo was taken from the back yard.  I ran out there as the clouds were moving over our house, hoping that it would actually begin to rain.
 You could actually smell the rain.  But, where was it?
Then, it began to fall.  The sound of rain is a wonderful sound and I stood out there on the porch of my little backyard studio.
So, want to guess how much rain we got?  I'm not exaggerating when I say that it rained for a grand total of about a minute and fifteen seconds.  Fastest rain I've ever seen!  Big huge drops, sounded great...quickly came and just as quickly left.
About ten minutes later, I went back out into the back yard and snapped this photo looking East again.  PINK clouds....as I live and breathe!  A very fun and exciting few minutes...but you should know...the old navy man says I will blow away one of these days just to take a few photos! Well, I'd come in before it got too bad and look what I got to see...a beautiful array of clouds, some flying birds and a little tiny plane.  Not much rain, but the smell of it was pretty great!  Now, you take care out there! pat

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Latest Project from the Downtown Studio

A couple of years ago, I bought this frame at "Heart & Soul," a local store that carries some pretty fun stuff!  This frame was in a bin of damaged items....it looked pretty ragged,  but it did have a bird on it and you know how I am about them!  So,  I bought it for less than half price, took it home and there it has been for all this time.  You know how you INTEND to do something, but time just gets away?   Well, not too long ago, I took the frame to the downtown studio, thinking that would convince me to do something with it.  And, it did.  I had made some bird rubber stamps and wanted to do something with them...so, thinking I could accomplish two things at once, This bird collage just 'happened.'
I had to spend a bit of time getting the frame back into good shape...I lightly sanded it, then painted it with a bit of green paint...just to cover up all the dings and worn edges.  Then, I painted it with two or three coats of matte gel medium...just to give it a good finish.  We use painter's cloth as table covers in the studio and I tend to save all of them for one project or another, so the background for this collage is a piece of one of our used painter's cloths.  This piece is about five inches by seven inches.
I like all the reds and pinks and greens.  (Actually, I DID turn this piece over and use the other side of the one pictured here....and added a couple more colors, specifically, more red and green.)
I painted the tree, then stamped the birds on the branches.  They looked kinda sad until I put a little color on them....but before I could make sure they had wings, my daughter, Kelly, took a look and told me not to add another thing to the birds!  She's a minimalist and of course, you know, I will 'do something to death' if I'm not careful, so I took her advice and left the birds with just a touch of color.
Because I have lots of scrap paper around, I decided to cut the leaves from paper and sew them down with the antique sewing machine I keep down there.  I should say the 'seldom used' antique sewing machine.  I need to remedy that, for sure!  So, I just cut out some vague leaf shapes and sewed them to the canvas.  I did touch them up a bit with some oil pastels.  And, I felt there needed to be some kind of flower there...and a funky simple flower seemed a good idea.

There's some little musical notes there too.....well, the birds DO have a song!  I used a permanent pen for those.  
And, here you see the words I cut from old book pages.....touched them with a bit of that green paint, added a little bird nest with eggs from Hobby Lobby and it was done!  I like it.  Thought about keeping it at home....but, at this point, gosh, where would I put it....so right now, it's in the window at the studio downtown.  We are open this Saturday, as it is the second Saturday of the month...who knows, maybe someone will want to take some birds home!
So...what do you think?  It took me a couple of years to decide what to do with the frame...but I did finally decide on something.  One example, I suppose, of having things on hand when you do get an idea...and then, there's all that 'hoarding' of stuff until those ideas quit floating around in your head and actually land on something you've 'saved.' 
Hope you enjoyed the birds....now stay cool out there and take care....see you again soon.  pat

Sunday, July 8, 2012


 Yes, EVEN IN THIS HEAT, there is still something beautiful to get excited about....how about these flowers and a sweet butterfly!  It's so hot here, and just about everywhere else, it seems, that brown seems to be the color of the day.  The grass is brown, the leaves are turning brown and falling off the trees, the birds are looking for water...well, heck, so are we!  We'd love a bit of rain.  There has been some 'around' us, but not here at Bird Nest on the Ground.  A friend of mine emailed and said if it rained, she was going to go out and stand in it.....
ME TOO!!!!!  I'd love to do that, wouldn't you?  This beautiful butterfly doesn't seem to be bothered by the heat and neither do the flowers....although some of them (not in these photos) are getting a little tired.  Everything else around our house is pretty much done.

This little butterfly is so absolutely great....can you see the very tips of his antennae???  Those little white dots.  No way I would see those without benefit of my photos....so tiny and CUTE!!!
I intended to post about something entirely different...then the day got away from me and after seeing these in my iPhotos (just taken a few days ago) I thought you might enjoy these and I wouldn't have to 'think' too much.  (I know YOU know what I mean!)  So, enjoy these, please, and stay tuned.  I'll try to post a little quicker next time and show you one of my latest projects.  They are few and far between these days.  Stay cool and safe and take care out there.  pat

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Red, White & Blue Quilts for a Happy Fourth of July

Tonight I wanted to post two quilts in Red, White and Blue, since we will be celebrating the Fourth of July in a couple more days.  I have a flag quilt which I'm quite proud of....but I've shown it before and thought it would be good to show something else on this holiday.  As I've said before, green and pink are my favorite colors....RED, being a darker shade of pink - if you ask me, makes it one of my favorite colors also.  And, of course, I'm happy to wave our flag whenever possible!

I found this hand-pieced quilt top at the Freeway Emporium a month or so ago, and have been saving it just for this holiday post.  It's a pretty simple quilt top, just a four patch repeated many times with a two inch strip between.  I was shocked to find it was hand-pieced, but excited at the same time.  That seems to be a thing of the past...as am I.
I like it a whole lot and fancy myself quilting it this winter when it's cold....imagine that now??.....and when I do, you'll probably get another look at it.  By the way, the quilt will fit a double bed, but you'd need a dust ruffle.  I've got it hanging over the side of the bed by quite a lot, just so you could get a good look at it.  I know you are going to ask....the money part of the deal...$25.  I just had to get it!!
Trying to dress up the photo a bit, I added that red silk ribbon embroidered heart with the pillows.  Just for fun. I also had to put some red and pink flowers in the background.  Brightens up my little Nest for sure.
I just had to take a photo of my black purse along with the red beaded purse.  The black one, vintage, the beaded red purse was purchased at Hobby Lobby a very long time ago.
I made this little quilt in 1996.  Boy, time flies!  It is about ten inches by fourteen inches or so.  It was made for a guild challenge back then.  I made the little doll and she is attached by a little snap on her back.  She has sequin stars on her ankles and hat and holds a heart button.  I had to scrounge to find enough blue buttons back then to do the embellishments on this quilt.  Also in the waves of buttons are some additional star sequins.  There is red embroidery covering the 'stripe' seams.  The big star is appliqued with the Buttonhole stitch and the little starts are Straight Stitches.
"Jane Doe and the Star Spangled Banner" is the name of it.  I enjoyed making it and remember it as a fun challenge.

Here you can see the back of the quilt...I was so excited to find this backing fabric...I thought it looked like fireworks and just had to use it.  You could see where I sewed on the buttons, so I just had to cover up those 'scratchy' stitches. So used a Herringbone stitch to cover them up.  What fun that was!  Does it look like a fireworks show to you?

Here's hoping you have a lovely July 4th....Happy Independence Day!!!  And, come back to visit soon.....I'll probably show you my latest quilt purchase....well, maybe that, maybe something completely different, but do return.  You know I love hearing from you.  Take care out there and stay cool if you can!  pat

A Bit of Heaven

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