Wednesday, December 30, 2009
It dawned on me last night after posting the butterfly blocks that a lot of people may not even know where this idea came from. The Piecemakers in Costa Mesa, Calif. publish a calender every year and sometimes it is a crazy quilt and other times a regular quilt. When you buy the calender a complete booklet comes with it showing the embellishments they used and the correct sizes to cut for sashings, etc. I liked the look of the layout mainly and decided to do my version of it. I have reduced the size of the blocks so it will be more of a wallhanging of a useable size for me.
I have been doing my own thing as far as the shapes in the blocks and the embellishments I put on them. I am thinking of just using beads on the four triangles that cover the middle triangle with the large butterfly. I will put one there but how it will be made I haven't got into that yet. Just thought curious minds might like to know.
The above picture insists on coming up sideways even though on the screen it looks right. I give up trying to change it. I took 2 more today and will add them and hope I can get one pic you can see. Well added 2 more but only 1 printed but it is better then its companion going sideways still.
Happy New Year to all who visit my blog, family and friends. Hugs FredaB
Monday, December 28, 2009
I cleaned off my sewing table of all the christmas items, paper, etc. and got out the butterfly quilt pieces. I found I had a large piece of black fabric in the cupboard and after swiftering the tile floor in front of the door I laid out the black and then very roughly laid out the blocks their order. The main problem in viewing it is that I allowed very large seams - like 1 1/2 to 2" -
as I am tired of edges fraying, etc. so made darn sure I would have enough fabric around to square them all up when done. It looks so much larger then it will be when you consider all those extra seams. There is only 1 block completely finished, a couple almost and the rest have at least something done on them. Here are the pics I took and I will update you as I finish each block. I still haven't decided how to do my butterfly in the middle but I guess that won't be needed for awhile. I measured the center and it is 19 1/2" so it will be a large butterfly. I may try making the fabric for it on my embellisher when I go home. I did not bring it down this year. I made a 10" cutout frame to better visualize what the actual block will look like without the margins.
My usual is I spend more time just staring at the block trying to figure what to do then actually doing something. I am going to try to change that and just jump in and will tear out if I am too unhappy with something.
In one of the blocks you can see some of the pretty Oya edging I purchased from our good friend Rengen from Turkey. I have taken a closeup also so you can see it better. I have a bag of the oya flowers but the edgings are also beautiful. I sat and sewed another one on a circular piece last night and you will see that eventually.
Wish me luck and see if I can't shake off this funk I have been in as far as sewing goes.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
I received some pictures from my Illinois kids and their kids. thought you might like to see a couple of the people I mention in my posts occasionally.
The 2 tallest boy and girl and the little guy on the right are my sons 3. The other 3 boys are my daughter's 3 boys. Yep - 5 boys and only 1 girl.
The next pic is my middle son Mike and his wife Jeana.
Last but not least is my daughter Sue and her husband Jon.
The Illinois son David and his wife haven't sent any pics down yet. They did send us a wonderful Christms card with pictures they took on a vacation in late October to the Tuscany area of Italy. David bought his Dad a large calender from there with gorgeous pictures that he can use for his watercolor paintings. Well thats all folks.
I am posting just one pic that I didn't post yesterday. I had a phone call today from my neighbour down the street named Nancy and her husband Jim had a very bad stroke about 15 years ago. When she called to thank me she said Freda I have not seen Jim so happy in so long. He cannot vocalize except major things that Nancy can understand. She says he had a great time and she thinks it was because he was interested that there were other men there. She also confided that she had made a Dr. and therapist appts. for this coming week as he didn't seem himself but now she is wondering if he just needs more male companionship. He doesn't come out much except to Dr. visits, etc. If our little get together made one person happy it was worth it.
I realized that as usual my husband was so busy taking pics that we didn't get any of him at the outside table.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Well Christmas Day arrived in our part of Florida with a little rain in the morning then warm and muggy. Mid afternoon it raned again and with it came cold, clear weather. Dropped into the 60's.
Our 8 guests arrived at 4 pm and we had a cocktail hour or more and it was very nice. I had baked a Smithfield spiral sliced ham and the 4 other gals brought potato casseroles, sweet potatoes, vegetable and spinach casseroles and one gal brought a huge angel cake decorated with both caramel and chocolate poured over the top along with ice cream to go with it. I had planned to have 5 eat out at the sun room table and 5 inside. When I called our friend whose wife was ill he said she was too ill to eat and had told him to come down and have dinner with us and enjoy himself for awhile. On went another plate in the dinette and worked out well.
For my Canadian readers I had bought Christmas crackers for the table. I have never spent a
Christmas without crackers. Only one gal had heard of them but they were all good sports and pulled crackers, wore the hats and played with the little toys and puzzles. When we first came to Chicago for many years my sister would get them and mail them to me as they were not available here. Well now you can buy them at a lot of stores or over the internet. I bought a box of Tom Thumb English crackers at Tuesday Morning.
I am going to post just a few pics of some of our friends. Hope a happy time was had wherever you live. I will say I was very tired today but just took it easy and perused some of my new christmas books. Will comment on them one of these days.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
I remember when the children were young and the anticipation of Santa coming. We always let them open one present Christmas Eve and it was always new pajamas or a nightgown for Sue. Well those days are long gone and no children around this year but the magic is still there. We will be watching tv tonight with all the usual Christmas concerts, etc.
Tomorrow will be a busy day as we are having 10 of us for dinner and taking dinner to one family where the wife is too ill to come out. The other 4 couples either decided like us not to go home this year and do not have any Florida family or other family visiting. I am cooking a 10# spiral cut ham and making corn pudding and the other gals are supplying the rest. Like a good potluck. This is a new step in our lives as the first year of not flying home. It is time and I feel so much more relaxed without the travelling, opening up the house and closing it again.
Sue and Mike who live very close to each other are celebrating at Sue's house with our 6 grandchildren. Our son David and wife Kim in Minneapolis will be having her brothers and sister over as her parents live in Hilton Head in the winter months. We all have Skype so have set up a time 2.30 central and 3.30 eastern for us and will try to have a 3 way picture conversation. That should be wild.
I just want to wish all my friends and blog readers a very Merry Christmas and to say I enjoy hearing from you in comments and love reading your blogs so keep on blogging gals. I couldn't live without you all now.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
The orchid arrangement in the blue & silver bowl is one I made for our table at the Garden Club tea in Nov. The orchids I had in there originally were the large corsage orchids which are much showier but do not last as long. In fact after about 2 weeks I said to my husband that there was a strange odor in that area of the house. Every time I went near it I could smell something very bad. I thought it was a dead gecko or even a mouse (God forbid). I looked under baskets, everywhere and then one day I got near this arrangement and discovered it was the orchids. Out they went. I had put them in their pot into the arrangement so was easy to take it out and just add another of my usual orchids. The 2 bromeliads in front are wonderful in the sense that they flower. The part sticking up is the flower base and from every little
orb on each side there appears a small violet like flower. They only last a day or two but then out comes another one. Very nice.The item on the end of the table is actually an old oil lamp from Paris that would have hung outside a building or house and the address is printed on a plaque on the front.. I assume that when the oil heated it up the little chimney on top would lift up and let the smoke out. I bought this the year Marshall Fields had their first Paris Antique Show. They converted their 7th. floor to an outdoor market. A friend and I went down and had a wonderful time. I bought large F and H letters in gold and a lot of other things. spent a few dollars but had a great time. I use it now as a terrarium and have 3 air plants in there this year that I just have to mist. We will see how they survive. I can put them outside on a tree when we leave.
For my Canadian readers who live especially in Ontario this little old hankie is a souvenier of the CNE which stands for the Canadian National Exhibition that runs for two weeks every August ending Labour Day weekend. It was wonderful when I was young as they would fill your shopping bag with all kinds of free items at the various exhibits. I don't think they do that anymore. They also have a huge amusement and rides part. The soldier I believe would represent Fort York which is right near the CNE. Am I right Canadians? Is the Fort still there?
The third pic just shows some decorations I put up around the basket and flowers that usually reside there. You can barely see the tips of the last two of the candleholders. The largest and third one is the culprit who fell on my head. Have to go as there is a good movie coming on at 8.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
I played around this week with some paper, glue & glitter. I had bought the large star which was cream metal with a bit of glitter on it a couple of years ago. When I hung it it looked just bare. I was reading some of my old mags down here and found the same star on the cover of Somerset Studio from Nov./Dec. 2008. It had been altered and was beautiful. I bought some sheets of scrapbooking paper , glitter and went thru my clip art file until I found a picture. This is what I ended up with. Not as good as the cover pic but it shows much better then it did before plus it was fun. I wish there was somewhere around me where I could get into altered books, etc. but haven't found anyone yet. I think in the new year I will sign up for an on-line class.
Friday, December 18, 2009
A couple of weeks ago at the flea market the stand where I usually buy my orchids is run by a young Korean man. Where he gets them from I don't know. He does no grow them himself, I know that much. He usually has the same types and colors but this particular day He had a smalltableful of the above orchid. I had never seen one so unusual in the coloring. It is actually a lime green color with he purple center. I knew I had to buy one and it is doing well.
thought I would ake a picture to share.
I do not belong to a local book club but am an avid reader. Our library in Mt. Dora is very nice but 1/2 the size of mine at home but they sure make up for their size in the fact that 12 different libraries have gone together and when I request a book it actually checks with all 12 and if it is available at any library I will put it on request and it will be delivered within a day or two to my library. If it is out, they will put me on a wait list and deliver when it comes up. It is a great service and there are very few books I have wanted that I have not received. At home we can request a book from another library but it must be done at the library in person and there usually is a long wait to receive it. I think our libraries are one of the best and only free things left to us in this world. I realize our taxes help pay for this but look what we are getting for it. The only books I ever buy are my CQ, embroidery or other books I want to keep for my sewing.
I had read about a book called "The Help" by K. Stockett and had just picked it up when my daughter arrived. She saw it and said she wanted to read it so I gave it to her. She read off and on while she was here and finished it. She said Mom make sure you read this - her comment was we should all read it. They are going to discuss it in their book club in a couple of months. That will be interesting. Well I read it and I agree it should be read by all. The story starts in Mississippi in the 1960s and is a story about the south, segregation and how black women raised many white children. Growing up in Canada this was a lifestyle I had no idea about. It covers the shooting of Medgar Evers, the first walk on Washington with Martin Luther King and other stories of the 60's but especially told thru the minds of the black maids. Please read this and realize how far we have come and hope we never go back.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Today I finally finished all the packing and took all the cards and packages to the post office. Took about 1/2 hour until I was out of there but guess that isn't bad for this time of year. At least they had extra help and all 4 booths were working. I finally finished spraying my snowmen this morning that I made over the last couple of weeks. I started out thinking I would make a bunch for neighbours, friends, etc but when 4 were half made I decided enough. I kept running out of things or not buying the right stuff and spent more time in stores then on making them. They did turn out sorta cute so next year I can make more if I feel like it.
Here is a pic of the 4 and 1 alone. 3 went in packages today for my daughter, and 2 DILs and one I kept for me. Thats it for me tonight. I am tired and ready to sit and watch tv. I like the new NCIS LA and also the Good Wife so thats where I will be.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Debra Spincic is the name Harv just drew so the book will be winging its way to you. I have to go mail parcels tomorrow so I will send it out then. I already have Deb's address so all set.
He made a big production out of it. He closed his eyes, covered them with his arm, reached in the bowl and swirled and swirled and swirled and finally came up with Debra.
Thank you ladies for entering and I will do this again. It would be nice to do it with something I have made. Maybe a Valentine one.
I also would like to tell you that I was the lucky winner of a giveaway that Lilla Levine of: http://www.justlilla.blogspot.com/ had recently. It arrived the day after I received the ladies swag. I felt like it was Christmas with Lillas 2 packages and Cathys pillow cover. I cannot begin to tell you how beautiful this prize is. Lilla makes absolutely beautiful things from her home in Hawaii. I have purchased things from her etsy shop and have never been disappointed. Go take a trip to her blog and see for yourself. Also she takes the time to make tutorials for us lucky gals. I am going to post 3 pics. The front, the middle and the back. Hope my pictures do it justice. Thank you again Lilla - your work is devine. We should call you Miss Devine not Levine.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Yesterday when the mailman came Harv came in with a bunch of parcels and said most of it is for you. First there was a swag I had seen on Lilla in Hawaii's Etsy. I ordered it to hang over one of my cork message board where I post everything I want to keep plus litle mementos I have received from you my readers and other cq friends over the year. My one board is full so I went out and bought more and have to hang them. Until then I hung it onto something I will post and it just finished it off. I have a large bird cage stand with a hook and I usually have a plant or basket hanging in there. Well I found an old bird cage with no bottom at the flea market and it has been languishing in the garage for me to do something with it. Well I took it out and decorated it for Christmas. See what you think. Am I losing it or what.
The next package was a complete surprise and was from Cathy K in Utah. When she was showing us one of her wonderful finds I saw a pillow cover that I told Cathy (jokingly) would look good on my white iron bed in Chicago. It has an old one also in pink that I bought at an antique shop and a smocked one I made. Well you can guess what was in the package. She sent me the pink pillow cover. Wasn't that one of the nicest things for her to do. I have made some wonderful friends thru my computer and I was the gal who said I don't want one and will never use it. Now I am never off it. Thank you again Cathy as it will find a good home with me.
I did re-take the picture of the Christmas card from Orinda Spence last Christmas. I was going to send it to my daughter until I took a look at it and thought no that is a keeper for me. Sorry Sue. Orinda does beautiful work. I did send her a message yesterday but it came back so I assume she changed her email address when they moved into their house this year. If anyone has it I would appreciate it.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
This is the hall table that is in the entryway of our house. The little tree you see is just covered in Christopher Radko ornaments - all patriotic. The Women for Hospice have a sale every Nov. in downtown Mt. Dora and the trees are decorated and donated by various businesses in town.
They are sold and the money goes to the local hospice. I saw this little one 7-8 years ago and was attracted to it by the Radko Ornaments and thought it would be a great little tree for us who are only here for a short time in Dec. Well times change and this tree now has a companion tree in the new sunroom because we are staying here for Christmas. It is also small just 4 feet but not covered in radko ornaments. I bought 2 boxes of antique small ornaments at the antique show at the flea market and thought they would be perfect for it. It could use a few more but I can pick more up this year or bring some small ones identical to these from home.
The little snowman I picked up at an after Christmas sale along with his buddy the funny guy on the patriotic hat. thought they would just fit in. They are a new type of ornament in the Wendy Addison style if you are familiar with her work. It is wonderful and I am a big fan.
I was going to post a Christmas card from Orinda spence here tonight but I lost it somewhere along the way so will re-take it tomorrow and show you tomorrow night.
Don't forget to sign up with any comment for the drawing for the book "Embroidered Flora and Fauna" by Leslie Turpin-Delaport. I will draw a name Monday and post it Monday night.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Quite a few years ago Sue and I went to Geneva, IL for a Christmas housewalk and while there we visited many lovely gift shops and one in particular named the Past Basket had these b eautiful stockings. I fell in love with them but they were very pricey. I told Sue I bet I could make something very close and so I did. I bought tons of ribbon and then wove the ribbons until I had large pieces of fabric from which I cut the stockings. I lined them with off white cotton and the backs were off white moire taffeta. The silk scallops were tricky becase I had never burned fabric before but used organdy and the long fireplace matches over the sink and just singed the edges. I can't remember how many I made but I gave them to my girls and my sister and her daughter and DILs so probably made a dozen or more. They still look great and I still hang them every year just for decoration. This one is in the living area but I have a blue one and a shrimpy pink one outside hanging off the bakers rack in the sunroom. I also have the same pink color hanging in the guest bathroom on a towel hanger inside the door. My hubby thinks I am crazy but he humors me.
It was at this same store, same time that I saw my first Christopher Radko ornaments. I believe it was the first year they were made. I loved the chains and daughter told her Dad and they bought me my first chain. It was snowmen. I have since received 3 more and many Radko ornaments. They are all in the basement in Chicago because I cannot bring all that down here. Our tree is only a small 4 ft. one here whereas I always had a large tree up north. I think it is time to say goodby to those ornaments and start handing them over to my daughter and DILs. I also have a large Santa collection and a nutcracker collection, some I bought in Germany and one my daughter bought for me when she was in school in England and toured Europe. Great memories.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
The beautiful little house I posted tonight is not antique. It is a new one made by a gal name Heather Kowalski and is just beautiful. This one is pale blue and with it are some bottle brush trees that I bought from Karla Nathan at Karlascottage. both gals have etsy sites and you can get things from etsy hand made by people far better and cheaper then in a store. I haven't even seen houses like this in a store. I liked it so much I went back and ordered the last one she had on her site in pink for my grandaughter. I thought she might like it for her room. I went through my account on PayPal today and I made 10 etsy purchases this month and 2 from Artbeads. I don't know where I found Artbeads but have ordered twice from them and there is NO shipping charge and NO minimum. I ordered a pack of lacey stuff to start beading some butterflies and it was only 5.99 total. They had a sale on 25% off a while ago and I ordered some seed beads and 6 packages of silamide thread and they were only $1.00 pack. I do not know if they ship to Canada free but it would be worth looking at. I have been very satisfied with their service.
I think with Christmas coming up it would be a good time for me to have a giveaway. I was in JoAnnes yesterday and they had a copy of the new book I mentioned in an earlier post. Embroidered Flora and Fauna by Lesley Turpin- Delaport. I am enjoying just looking at it so much I thought it would be a good giveaway. Please just leave a comment on my blog between now and Sunday and I will pull a name or number Monday am. I am not advertising this as I would like it to be won by one of my constant readers. It says I have 30 followers so that is a good crowd. I do this blog more for myself, my kids to read what I am up to and for the close friends I have made thru our CQ lists. I love you all and really enjoy reading all your blogs so come on and leave a comment. Maryanne in Canada already has this book so if her name is pulled she will get something else and I will pull another name.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Well Sue left on Sunday and on Monday our Garden Club had our annual Christmas lunch. We usually have a grab bag gift exchange and we decided instead to bring food for our local food pantry. There were cartons of food to take over so the 2 cartons I have in the garage will wait until next week and I am sure the others will be all gone by then. This is my own personal crusade to donate at least 1 carton food per week. We had a very nice lunch and delicious as usual. We never plan just say bring something. It always works out that we have plenty of food and of the right kind.
When Sue was here I took her shopping at a store in the next town over called The Peddlar's Wagon and is owned by a very nice couple. Kevin is the star of the show and is the one who comes out and does things like making a Christmas wreath at the ladies lunch. We have had him do things for our garden club and he has such a wonderful sense of humour he should be a standup on TV. His hands are going the whole time he is keeping us laughing so hard and voila there is another beautiful arrangement. Well his store is just overwhelming. I opened the door and Sue could not believe the store. We said where shall we start. He was giving out Mimosa drinks and plates of cookies. Sue found a couple of long strands of gorgeous beads to drape around a couple of large candleholders. I wasn't planning on buying anything until we were almost finished and I spyed Miss Snowlady. She stole my heart with her fur stole and her
general appearance. I just couldn't resist her so when we arrived home I wandered around and had already decorated but said she needs a special place where you can see her. Poor pink Santa got relegated to the bottom shelf of my bakers rack and she took center stage. I will post a pic of her and my decorated rack. I did the third large shelf again this year with my antique putz houses. Pam Kellogg of www.kittyandmedesigns.blogspot.com made her own this year and has a beautiful display of decorated houses. Go visit and you will be enchanted.
The title refers to a little accident which was my own fault. We just bought a 42" flat screen tv for our living room. A couple of fellas from the club came down on Sun. and removed the old monster size 37" and put in the nice new slim flat screen. It is in a large armoire in our living room and on top of the armoire I have 3 graduated size large clay candle holders with large candles in them and at the back is a large copper round table top that I picked up years ago at the flea market. Well after they left Harv discovered the tv wasn't hooked up right and we couldn't get the cable channels. Being in the wheelchair he cannot get to things like this so I said when I come home Monday I will help you. Well home I come, off go the fancy duds and I am ready to start. I said how about if we push it out far enough for you to get behind and sort of show me where to attach things. Neither one of us thought about what was on top. Well as I am moving this out (it moves really easy on the tile floor) I hear a funny noise and I said oh I hope we haven't done something to the tv. Well no sooner said then bang right on top of my head was the largest of the 3 holders. The copper tray had moved and hit it and it hit me. It hit so hard it actually cracked on my head then fell all over the floor. Harv said lay down and don't move and I will get ice. He comes back with a cup of ice and by this time I had crawled over to my chair. I said what shall I do with ice cubes in a cup so off he goes and gets a zip lock bag. Well I kept it on for an hour and I have a pretty good size egg on there but it is going down. You don't know whether to move, will you survive, what is going on. I have been taking advil for the past couple of days so assume all is well. Lesson learned - look up before you start to move anything and remove what is up there better still don't help with any of that kind of stuff.
Should have called the cable man. We did get it together the next day and all the channels are working. Harv keeps giving me little furtive looks and casually asking if I feel okay.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
More then a week has gone by since my last post but I wasn't laying around reading books and eating bonbons. My daughter flew in on wednesday by herself - no husband - no 3 boys - just her. She stayed until Sunday and we put her back on the plane and she arrived safely Sun. night in Chicago. Unfortunately the weather didn't co-operate with cool and rainy weather but we still had a great time. We shopped, we ate out, we watched movies and she read a whole book which I am just starting now. She said it was excellent so when I finish I will give you the title and my opinion. This is the first time since she was married 16 years ago that she has come to Florida alone or stayed with us alone. It was short and went fast but was sweet.
The only thing I did not do was take any pictures. I don't know why I didn't think of it.
She saw that I had been decorating the house and she helped me do a lovely swag over the front double doors. We had to drill thru masonry but we gals did it and up went the swag. It has lights in it and I bought 2 lengths of burgundy poinsettias and wrapped them around the greenery. Then was shocked to walk into WalMart and they had live burgundy ones so bought a container of them and put it outside. We also found this pedestal stand in our neighbours house put out to trash. I stopped and asked her if I could have it and she said the paint is all flaking and I said Shabby Chic. We both laughed. We picked it up on the way home and as you can see it is the perfect height. I think I may have a new pedestal.
We are staying down without family for the first Christmas since we married 50 years ago and I think that was bothering her. Now she sees the house all decorated and we have made plans to have 8 or 10 of us for dinner who are also staying down without family. We have the room with our new sunroom so I will make a ham and some corn pudding and the other gals will bring the rest and it should be fun. This made her happy. Will be back soon with more pics.