Sunday, January 31, 2010

The book I am talking about today is the one I bought at JoAnns on Friday. I am not a dollmaker and can't stand trying to make those small arms, legs, etc. and when it comes to panting a face - forget it. I am just not artistic in that way. Well when I saw this and opened it up I fell in love with it. The first half of the book is done with what they call a flat doll and she gives you the pattern for it that you can print onto either paper, cardstock or onto treated fabric. She had quite a few famous doll designers take the flat doll and come up with a finished doll. The clothes are made of fabrics, laces, ribbons, etc. I did take a few pics but there are many more. The second part of the book (actually the last 2/3) is instructions for making your own regular cloth dolls and she also includes pictures of many different finished dolls here also.

I am showing the original doll pattern and then some of the finished ones in their finery. The fifth picture has a dress made out of weaving ribbons and looks like the designer dress Susan Elliott just showed on her recent blog post on Plays With Needles. I think this one would be esier to make Susan.

The third picture with the lace and silk ribbon flowers was done by Gloria McKinnon from Anne's Glory Box fame in Australia. Sure looks like her stuff.

I apologize for the last two being turned. That is the way I took them to get them in but did rotate them and it said saved after I did it but now it shows up sideways. Sorry.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Diane Knott is an artist of considerable ability and fame in her line of greeting cards and designing fabrics. I have read her blog: and she mentioned wanting to try some silk ribbon embroidery. I had a Bucilla silk ribbon video around here so sent it to her with some bits of ribbon. Well on Thurs. night after we got back from having dinner with old friends I found her package in the mail. It consisted of one of her lovely brooches fastened to a tag she had made to put her pins on for when she sells them. She also sent me 3 of her beautiful cards she designs and a package of recipe cards. She probably has peeked into my recipe drawer here and seen the mess of paper and scribbles. At home I have a long wooden box filled with cards that go back since we were first married but I am not that organized down here. See something I like and it is rip. Also she sent me a beautiful tag she made and if you look closely you can see a dragonfly on it. I hope I got that in the picture.

Went to JoAnns again yesterday and had 2 - 50% off coupons. Well almost everything was on sale so used one on sewing machine needles and the other on another book - I know I should stop buying them but for 1/2 price of 12.50 I got a great one. The somerset magazines are 14.99 and only less 10% most of the time now so it is cheaper to buy a book - or at least that is how I justify it. I took pics and I will blog about it tomorrow after I have had a chance to read it more. I took pics today of it and some other things so all set there.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


The above pink and white transferware tureen, lid and server were found at the flea market at the Extravaganza weekend. I collect the Johnson Bros., England, English Castles red and white (some call it pink & white) transferware and when I saw this tureen my heart almost stopped. I didn't want to pick it up and look on the bottom for a name and a price but the gal came over and she picked it up. I saw then that it was made in Japan. So not english. So I could not tell without looking at the bottom. So if I couldn't tell no one else could either when it is sitting on my baker's rack in the house. She went down to $20.00 for it and even took a cheqe because I was almost out of money by that time. I guess I looked honest and she said she didn't want to take anything home and knew she would have to. A real Johnson Bros. tureen wold be much more if you could even find one. I also found a small bowl of the real thing and the man said $3.00 and I grabbed it. Someday I will have to stop buying or rent a space and that I wouldn't do. I go thru and give away pieces and things I don't really care for to resale charity shops. Helps both of us.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Today my hubby and I went to the show for the first time in years. With Harv in a wheelchair the first couple of times we went to the show we were put right at the front - about 3rd. row and between the noise and staring straight up at the picture after which I would have a sore neck or vertigo we decided the show was not for us. We would watch TV or rent DVD's. My neighbour had told me that the show in Sanford had seats removed on the aisle throughout the theatre for wheelchairs. Well we were pleasantly surprised and sat near the back and it was great. Now we will be able to enjoy more shows.

When I read they were making a film about Queen Victoria based on her early life and filmed in England I just knew I had to see it. If we had been in Chicago my daughter and I would have gone but there was not much interest in the gals around here. Growing up in Canada we spent as much time on English history as we did on Canada & the US. I was always fascinated with England and English history and read many a book about the British monarchy. I could rattle of all the dates of battles, Kings, Queens, etc. but don't test me now. My Mother was born in England so that was another tie there. My daughter went to Bath, England as an exchange student and her roomate was a gal from the Isle of Wight. Harv went over on business and I went with and visited our daughter. Her roomates parents invited us to bring the girls and go the Isle of Wight for a long weekend. That is where Queen Victoria had her summer home and apparently wehere she spent a lot of time after Albert's death. We visited the home and I was hoping there would be some of it in the picture but there was not.

It started with Victoria as a young girl then skipped quickly until she was almost 18when her uncle died and she actually became Queen of England. She reigned the longest of any monarch. I believe it was 63 years. I think our presnt Queen Elizabeth may beat that if she stays in good health.

The costuming was absolutely gorgeous, All those beautiful fabrics, ribbons, laces, etc. to die for. Also the story of Victoria and Albert was a true love story. The movie ended before his death but they made reference to it and said that until the day she died she had a valet lay out his clothes every day. They had 9 children and he died at age 42 while she lived until she was 81 and spent all that time in mourning him.

I guess from the above you can tell that I really enjoyed this movie. Apparently Sarah Ferguson was involved very much in the making of this and used her royal connections to obtain royal locations for filming. When it opens you see the royal guards in the scarlet uniforms and black fur busby hats. My Mother had a brother, my uncle H
arry who was a Royal Guard before the family emigrated to Canada and he became a policeman in Toronto and ended up a detective until an early death of a heart attack in his 50's. Just a little family history for my kids to read.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Today I will review another book from my Christmas gifts. It is The Beader's Bible - A comprehensive guide to beading techniques. I do not consider myself a beader in the tradional sense. I use beads mainly for embellishing on fabric so in that sense this is a book that I could have done without. I am not saying it is not a good book for tradional beaders as it is very well written, diagramed and the instructions seem very clear. It even has a section in the back for knitting with yarn and beads and crocheting with the same. It teaches all the various methods of beading including bead loom weaving and many off loom beading techniques. For any one interested in learning all the various techniques it would be a good book. For me I need more fabric embellishment and yet I know there are only so many ways to sew down beads on fabric that that is limited by your own skill. I would still give this a 3 in my rating system as I cannot say anything bad just that it is not for me.

Also when browsing thru old pics on my computer I came across a few of dresses I had made for Jenny and her doll. The ballet costume above was a kit I purchased that was an exact duplicate of the Boston Ballet costume. It was a fairly expensive kit and was a hard one to make. It even had boning in it that I remember. I used to do a lot of sewing but have goned away from the machine in that sense so this is something I would not want toduplicate again. Jenny loved it and I guess that is all that counts. If you look close you will see the Boston Ballet tag they gave to sew inside the costume.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I think Harv is going to have to lock me in the basement (except there is no basement here) to keep me out of JoAnns fabrics. I went over there to-day to get fabric for pillowcases and I sure did get that and more. I had 3-50% off coupons and almost everything including fabric I bought was already 40% or more off. I bought some hockey print, some football print, some great Debbie Mum bulldog - keepout - print and 2 or 3 others that I got off the 50% off fabric table. I must have enough to make at least a dozen. I also bought a heat gun for a project, 2 books (yes I bought more books - have to use the 50% off) and will take pics and tell you about them. One was for punchneedle and the other for making fun litle dolls. When I was in Omaha at the CQ retreat I bought pairs of little hands off one of the gals and on these I can use them up. Hope I have them with me.

I took some more pics of my flea market finds last Sat. I have been collecting Fostoria Canadiana pattern glassware/crystal (some call it either or) which started about 30 years ago. I stopped at a garage sale and she had all these sherbert stemmed glass dishes for .25 cents each. I bought 12 and for years they sat in my cupboard never used until I came to Florida. Then I started seeing it at every sale and every flea nmarket. I have a large cabinet in my kitchen with glass doors and I will show you what my flea market finds have become. My one claim to not being overindulgent is I have paid very little for most pieces down here and the most expensive one that isn't in the cabinet shows for over 300.00 in the book price and it was given to me by an elderly neighbour who Harv and I helped thru her husband's death, selling her house and getting her into a retirement home where she stayed for about 2 years until she passed away. She told me to take any piece I wanted and not even knowing it was a rare piece I picked it because I had the sherbert glasses.

Well back to the flea market pic where you will see a white wicker jug that has a plastic jug and lid inside that removes for cleaning and it was only 6.00. Thought it would be nice for ice tea when people are over. The other 2 candle holders were .25 cents each and I have been collecting a few as I want to cq some pincushions. The 3rd. item is the Fostoria cream and sugar with it's own tray. Last year in Chicago I saw the little tray for 12.00 but wasn't sure if my cream & sugar would fit on it. Well they won't but I did get the 3 pieces Sat. for $5.00. I think I saved Harv so much money that I can afford to go to JoAnns - don't you? Come on gals and agree with me - don't let me down.

I must say that I do use these pieces when I am entertaining down here so they don't just collect dust.

Friday, January 22, 2010

We had to have our sprinkler system checked today as my neighbour woke up at 2.30 am yesterday and thought it was pouring rain. Then she got up to go to the bathroom and looked out - no rain. She got a flashlight and went outside and saw 2 of our sprinkler heads gushing water straight up. We called and they came today and yep we needed 2 new heads. Might have been from the cold weather or more then likely from the huge mowers the lawn service use. They are the size of jeeps. Thank goodness she heard it as we would never know what was happening at 2.30 am as our bedroom is on the far side of the house. We are allowed to only water once a week now and they stagger our times in the night so we aren't all at the same time.

I did take a picture of Allie's pretty card and the beautiful brooch she made for me. You will notice that she did as I had mentioned the other day sing 4 mm ribbon in the middle with the regular needle then doing the larger ribbon with the large needle around the outside. I think it makes a beautiful flower.
We are going out to dinner tonight so I think I will wear it. Thank you again Allie.

Quilting Arts are having a sale of their DVD's and you can download them for a very good price or if you want the DVD can order them but that entails higher price and shipping. I picked out one and downloaded it and sat for an hour this afternoon watching a gal make an art quilt with various types of leaves, embellishments, etc. It is like taking a class - you always learn something but I actually learned a lot from this. It was only $4. something so was less then a magazine and now I have it on the compter to watch anytime. I am going on there again and order a few more when I get a chance. The sale ends sunday.

Don't forget the project Deb Spincic has making pillowcases in dark or patterned fabric for the men in Iraq or Afganistan. She has asked me if I will let the gals in this area send them to me then I can send 25 in a priority box. I said I would so if anyone out there wants to contribute I will give you my address in an email.
They will be mailed at the end of Feb. I am going to go to JoAnnes and buy some valentine material with hearts, love, etc. and make some of them up.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It has been like Christmas around here again. I had ordered a needlecase from Lilla in Hawaii and it arrived yesterday. Her work is gorgeous as usual. Her mind must never stop dreaming up these beautiful things plus she is very kind to share them with us with tutorials on some of her items. I also like the little extra tags she incldes. They are works of art also.

I also received a package from Pam Kellogg of : I had ordered 2 cornucopias that were made by her Mother. For you that do not know Pam's Mom is considered legally blind and has a service dog. Well she put these together and they are just beautiful. They came so beautifully wrapped I do not want to unwrap them as they will be for me or for gifts next Christmas. The surprise was she also made and sent me a beautiful Valentine. My first this year. Go to Pam's site and see some of the great things her Mom has put together. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. She had some more cornucopias on there and you can see how pretty they are and very inexpensive.

Also in to-day's mail came a package from Allie Aller in Washougal, WA who I believe you all know. I think everyone in the world is aware of Allie now and her beautiful flower quilts. Well a couple of weeks ago I lent Allie my punchneedle for large ribbon that I had purchased from Australia. I did not have good luck with it as the ribbon kept folding in half. Allie figured it out and made beautiful flowers that she has shown on her site: We believe that the weave of the fabric cannot be too tight or this will happen. She used it on more of an openweave fabric and had good luck. She was going to try it on a cq square backed with muslin but haven't heard yet how that worked. She has now ordered her own needle. They are expensive - around 50.00 so you would want to make sure you would use it enough to get your moneys worth. The regular punchneedle that I have will take 2 and 4mm ribbon and makes pretty flowers. Allie actually used the small one and put the middle of the flower in 4mm and the outside in 7mm. Well all I really meant to tell you was that Allie sent me a beautiful flower pin that she had made as a gift for me along with a card she has had printed with her beautiful quilt that was in the $100,000.00 challenge magazine.
I will take a pic in the light tomorrow and show it to you.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The next book that I have been reading is Di Van NieKirk's is her Embroidered Alphabets with ribbon embroidery. If you do not know Di she is from Capetown, South Africa. Her books and DVD's are available on Amazon with the DVD being in the right format for our players. I first found her about 2 or so years ago and put her on my christmas list. that year I got her book, one of her panels to be embroidered and the DVD that walks you through part 1 of the panel. I am still working on part 1 and did receive the 2nd. DVD this Christmas so I must get going. Never enough time in the day to do it all. When you look at Di's work it is her use of embroidery stitches together with the silk ribbon. There is as much charm in the embroidery as in the SR. She does wonderfl things with both thread and SR. Take a look at her books and you too will become a fan. I would rate this a 4 also. Now I am basing this rating on my own personal preferences so might change for you.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Three times a year Renningers flea market has what they call an Extravaganza. November, January and February - the 3rd. weekend of the month. They say they have over 1000 dealers and it is the only time they charge to get in. Fri. 10.00, Sat. 6.00 and sun. 4.00. This is held at the antique end. the flea market end is also open and it is still free. I went over Sat. morning to pick up a few orchids. Mine all lasted until just around christmas then gave up their flowers. I was amazed at the amount of dealers on the flea market side. I had the time so I wondered around. I did get some really nice things and one I wanted to show you tonight is a hat covered with velvet pansies and small sprigs of flowers with buds and stamens. I could just picture them on a crazy quilt. The lady seemed impressed by the fact that it had a Stetson label on the inside. I did not know that Stetson made ladies hats also. Well I told her truthfully that I only wanted it for the flowers and she seemed fine with it. I always feel I should tell them if they seem to have a feeling for their product. I tell them that on lace pieces, fabric, etc. I have had a couple of times when they would not sell it when I have said I would only cut it up. So be it. I sat Sunday and pulled all the little sprigs and flowers off the hat. They were glued on so came off easy. I paid 16.00 for the hat which is more then I usually would pay but when I saw all I got for it I feel it was worth it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

This is the second book of Judith Baker Montano that I received. It is a dandy small easy to follow stitch book that would be wonderful for a beginner or experienced stitchers. I am sure a lot is a repeat of what I have in her other books but in this it is all together in one small, easy to handle book. It actually has a stand-up easel type feature that you can flip easily while stitching.

I would also give this a 4 star rating for all the features I mentioned above. Great for people that travel a lot or for stay at home gals like me.


I think this book is the "Piece de Resistance" of all Judith Baker Montano's books.
It is absolutely wonderful even as a picture or coffee table book. It covers getting started in crazy quilting, a collage journey, photography, silk dyeing, landscapes and seascapes plus a whole underwater section that is wonderful.
At the end of the book she has patterns for the items she talks about and a nice stitch directory with instructions. I would say for a serious crazy quilter this is a must have. For a beginner maybe some of her beginning books would be the way to go. Actually even without cq anyone interested in doing landscapes would love this book also.

This is the back cover where she gives you a taste of one of her landscapes, one of her underwater seascapes and one of her houses she draws (with instructions) paints and then embellishes. Enough work here to last a couple of years.

I would definitely give this a 4 star for content, photography and ideas. It has a beautiful hard cover and is a binder type book that will stay open for you as you work. I must admit that I have every book she has ever published and do refer to them frequently. Thank you Judith for this gorgeous book.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I thought I had better come back and tell you we have a winner. Teresa gave me a lead on where to buy pin-up fabric and I could just see a bunch of these young soldiers loving any of these fabrics. She has a son who is a marine and she made some for him out of the camoflague girlie material. The company is: By the way she has a very patriotic family - family who are either in the service now or have been. Very impressive. Told Teresa I said a prize and never thought what it would be. I don't think she is a crazy quilter so must think of something appropriate for her.

I also must tell you about a wonderful giveaway that Tristan from is having on his blog. I read about him on Magpies Mumblings blog and he is a very interesting fella. Went back and read some of his posts. Go on over and join in.

This is the book that I recently mentioned that had the directions for the beautiful leaves that Susan Elliott of plays with needles made and showed on her blog. This is the front cover.

This is the back cover with the beautiful line of butterflies. These were made into a necklace by joining with a gold bead. I will try and make some individual ones for my quilt. I have to bone up on my peyote stitch plus brick stitch, etc. I have not done this for many years so hope it comes back to me. I have a teaching video in Chicago but I am here and it is there. I am going to see if there is someone around here who gives lessons. Unfortunately all the bead stores within a resaonable distance have disappeared.

The last two pictures were just closeups of flowers from the front cover. I really like this book and think even a beginner could follow the directions for the easier items. The pansies look gorgeous but I will be happy if I can do some leaves for silk or velvet pansies. I would give this book a 4 star rating. Here I am talking like a movie critic. I took pics of all the books I received for Christmas plus this one that I ordered myself and will show them in the next few days as I pore over them.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Debra Spincic of has just set up a new blog for pillowcases to be made by us for a battalion of soldiers in Iraq. She needs 50 and is asking us to sign on for making 2 each and apparently dark colored prints or dark solids are preferred because of the washing problem. Some soldiers hang them up and pin pictures of their family on them. Come on gals let us help Deb make the 50 mark.

She has set up a new blog: where you can sign up. Wouldn't it be great if we could find a pin-up girl fabric for them? Start looking. I will give a prize to the first one to sign up and find a great pin-up fabric.

I am sorry but you will have to copy and paste the links as I cannot get them to highlight.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


We have finally started to warm up. I took the wraps off the 2 large pots in the front and both the grasses and the surrounding pansies were fine. The grass was bent right over but I watered them well today and fluffed them up some with my hands and I think they will be standing up in a couple of days. It actually made it into the 70's today. 73 to be exact. Harv and I went over to the flea market this morning to stock up on fruits and vegetables and the place was jammed. You had to wait for someone to pull out before we could get a parking spot. The thing I noticed was not one seller having any strawberries. With the cold they were spraying water on all the plants to freexe the tops to stop the frost from killing the plants. Sounds funny but apparently it works. They did not do any picking so will probably be another week or so before they appear again. Before this I had bought a half flat of gorgeous tasting large berries for $7.00. We have them for lunch, made a strawberry & rhubarb pie and there are still some in the tupperware container. I have found that if you immediately put them in airtight containers and throw in a paper towel to absorb the water that generally collects on the lids they will stay for ages. There also appeared to be a shortage of oranges - again I think a picking problem. There was grapefruit but probably out of storage. I thik it was so crowded becase 1 - the snowbirds are down after Christmas thru april and 2 - people like us wanted to get out and get the sun and the air from the best day in a couple of weeks.

I received 2 more books today from Amazon. I received Ann Cox's A-Z of ribbon embroidery and a beading book my friend Susan from called The Beaded Garden by Diane fitzgerald. If you read Susan's blog it was for the leaves that she has made recently came from this book and if you do not read her blog you are missing one of the top blogs on the web. Go check her out and go back a day or two and see the different leaves she has beaded. You may find yourself spending an hour or two going back to view her beautiful things she has made. Not just beading either.

Tomorrow I will take pics of all the new books I received and give you my opinion on them.

My neighbour next door has a grapefruit tree and it was just covered in fruit which she shared with all of us every year. She told me this afternoon all the fruit was frozen and she will have to pull it all off and throw it away. Come to think of it I will call her and tell her I will help her remove and dispose of it. What a shame.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Just stopping in to say hi and tell you that we woke up to hail and freezing sleet this morning. Last time I looked it had risen to a grand old 34 degrees F. This is the coldest and longest cold spell I can ever remember in our years of coming down to Florida and from what they are saying it is beating old record temps. I feel for the fern and flower growers in our area plus all the orange and grapefruit groves.
Aparently a cold snap will actually make the fruit on the trees sweeter but not for this long or this cold. I heard that if the cold gets to the tree itself for 4 hours or more they will actually lose the trees. I believe this is what happened when so many groves folded up and sold their land to developers for homes. But with no homes being built right now they don't even have that option. Between unemployment and the terrible weather all over this country we are facing more hard times. The price of everything will go up and will become scarcer. When I was a child growing up in Canada during the war years fruit was very scarce and it was a treat not an everyday item for us. At Christmas our stockings had fruit and nuts in them and not toys, etc. like the children have now. I sound like I am 100 years old - not quite but do think we are going to see a lot of things like they used to be before our prosperous years set in.

On a brighter note I am all excited for the winter Olympics to begin in Vancouver, BC. I will sit and watch all of it. Even the luge and the cross country with the bow and arrows. I soak up every minute of it. Must be my Canadian blood. I do watch parts of the summer Olympics but not with the same enthusiasm. The scenery from Vancouver and Whistler should be magnificent. I am looking forward to what they do for the opening. I remember the Calgary Olympics and they did a wonderful job. I must say every host country does wonderful. So come Feb. you know where I will be in front of my new 42" HD screen that luckily just fit in my armoire in the Living room.

I received quite a few books for Christmas and I will take some pics and review them as I really read them in the next week or so. The one book I really wanted was the A-Z of Silk ribbon by Ann Cox. It was ordered and shipped Dec. 11 and no book yet. Amazon credited my account so now have to go online and order it again.

Keep warm wherever you are or stay cool in OZ.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I haven't been to the flea market for a few weeks due to christmas plus the cold weather. I cannot imagine vendors standing out there for 6-7 hours in the 40's or 50's. The last flea market I was at is the Thurs. morning one where I go to buy mainly fruits and vegetables and of course to look around. Well this day there was a young mother with a girl about 11 or 12 and I assume they had gone through their belongings and were just trying to get rid of things they didn't want. They had a pile of books so I stopped to have a look and a sign said 25 cents each. There was even a bible there. I picked up this journal and it was brand new. Probably a gift and never used. I asked is this only 25 and she said yes so I bought it.

It is very pretty and has 3 sections inside with photo inserts and an envelope in the front cover. I have been wanting to play around and gussy something up so I will try it with this one day. Would be a shame to spoil it. I took a pic of the front cover, the inside cover and the overpage. Will show it again when I do something with it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The cold weather that is covering the country has worked its way down to Florida. The daytime highs have been in the low 60's and down to the 40's and some areas 30's at night.
Well now they are saying for the next week the cold is hanging in there and we will be in the 50's for highs and 20's to 30's for lows. I brought in my ceramic birdbath because one year when we were up north there was water in a ceramic one and it must have frozen and we came back to a broken birdbath. I have covered up the 2 large pots at the front that have the grasses and pansies in them. They are both supposed to handle a fair bit of cold but I am taking no chances. I did cut a beautiful rose with 2 buds and brought it in just in case. Normally up north we have had roses into November so think they are pretty hard. I have about 6 in the back I didn't cover either so hope I am right. Time will tell. When I came in with the rose I said to Harv that down here I only have either very large vases or tiny ones. I looked over to the counter and there were 4 or 5 bottles I have been saving. My daughter and I found this one and a couple of others when she was here. We are going to make some altered bottles (is there such a thing). Well this one is heart shaped and when I put the rose in it it looked so pretty that now I have another vase. I took a pic of it.

I have been staying in and working on my quilt. I laid out all the large blocks on my cutting table and put a rectangular table from the garage in here also and I have laid embellishments, etc. on it. I do not work well doing block by block. I hop all over the place. I think of something for one block,do it and then hop over to something else. At least I am working on them again. I think this will be the end of the fairly large ones for me. I want to do other things and not have to feel guilty doing them thinking of an unfinished quilt.

Harv likes to go over to the nearby lakes and fish from the piers or walkways. Good way to get fresh air and sun plus he talks to the other fishermen. He went Thurs. afternoon and caught this one. He held it in one hand and snapped with the other as there was no one around. It is a speckled perch and pretty good size. He always does catch and release or will give to some other fisherman who will eat them.
First he doesn't know how to clean them and second I don't know how to cook them so catch and release is fine with us.