Buzzings from a quilter who bumbles her way through life!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Christmas Tour 2016

"From north or south, east or west, with friends and family we've been blessed!"
I've started preparing for Christmas meals with family and friends! I am using my souvenir travel plates, but don't worry, I have clear glass plates to put over them for actually eating on.

The vintage map centerpiece goes well with the souvenir plates!
                                          I used a piece of "vintage map" fabric by Tim Holtz for the center of my table. 
There were only 1 1/3 yards available, so I made a larger tablecloth of cream paisley. 
The house was a cardboard form bought a year ago on clearance after Halloween. I pulled off the bats and covered it with pages from an old atlas. There is a plant stand under the fabric to raise the house.. The snow on the roof is vintage "cotton batting snow", complete with glitter. The stars are from the same old atlas as the covering for the house.

 I included a Fitz and Floyd Santa that miraculously survived the fire! (I guess if Santa can go down a chimney, a house fire can't hurt him!)
To get an idea of scale,  the table is 90" across. We will pull up chairs for each of the 12 place settings.

 The living room with the dining room in the background. We have a very open concept area.
I like little vignettes around the room so that your eyes have places to stop. This is simply a couple of vintage figurines, both pulling a cart, filled with candy canes. To tie it in, I put large candy canes in the flower arrangement between them.
The fireplace is kept simple with three carved Santas on an upturned shallow galvanized bucket and a small tree in the larger one. 
 The tree sits beside the fireplace, so that is really all the decoration it needed. 

I've dressed up the throw pillows on my sectional with simple ribbons tied like a package. They also make a great addition to an accent chair. (Check out the sectionals in this link!)
I love the easy care of my leather furniture! I can dress it up or dress it down, depending on my mood!

I removed the regular centerpiece and replaced it with a collection of nativity scenes, all hand made in Mexico and Peru. I placed two of them on the "holey" rocks we have outside.
The kitchen area 
(Behind the old screen door is my "Butler's Kitchen" which I LOVE!! It's where I get messy!)

The kitchen island, visible from the living area, has a large mirrored tray on it filled with snow globes and live flowering plants. I've covered the hand oiled red cedar top with a clear vinyl cover in preparation for the 13 children who will be here for Christmas Eve brunch! (All my sister's grandchildren. My two will not be here this year.)
 Snowmen dance on my window ledge in the kitchen along with a card from family the reads, "When life gives you snow, make a snowman!"
I have overloaded you with photos, so I'll save the bedrooms and downstairs for next time.
In the meantime, get some inspiration at the Home for the Holidays pages at Arhaus Furniture Pinterest Pages. 
See you next time!

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Falling into Fall!

I am really feeling nostalgic today! I've been working on patterns and house renovations and I am weary! I need to see my grandkids! The photo above was taken 10 years ago when we lived on the east coast. We had built a great pond and deck and finished it just in time to find out we were moving. Our granddaughter loved putting her hand on the water and feeling the fish tickle it thinking she might have some food for them. I would love to have that pond and deck here. I would love even more to have my grandkids here!
As I write, I'm waiting on workmen to come put the glass shower door in downstairs. Doug's television for his media room will be delivered this week, too. We still have a lot to do, but we're making progress.
I have reworked several patterns, too.
(23" W x 45 1/2" L)
(This is actually  a new pattern. I made this wall hanging in 2013, but had not written it up as a pattern until now.)

"Jesus Loves the Little Children"
( 41"W x 41"L)
 "In God We Trust"
(35"W x 44"L) 
(about 4" tall)
These have all been remade with multiple photos and better instructions. They are also in a 8 1/2" x 11" format, unfolded.
I do not have them yet in download form, but will happily mail them out to you if you want one. ($15 each plus postage).
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Monday, September 19, 2016

September? Really?

New! Give Thanks
I can't believe it is September and fall begins on Thursday! How did that happen? I have been super busy giving presentations, teaching classes, and working on rethinking my patterns. I am going bigger, better, clearer, and with lots of pictures. That means that I have to remake the quilt to not only evaluate the pattern, but to take photos at every step. Not a quick thing to do!

New! Let It Snow!
The renovation is coming along. My sewing room is almost finished, but we still have the cutting table to do and the baseboards.
 This is my wall of cubicles. My husband built me a platform to put them on so they weren't sitting on the floor. I found the little gray collapsible baskets at Walmart! 
 This is the far end of the room. You can't really tell much yet by these pictures. The little island is temporary. We are going to build a cutting table that can be rolled around. There is a huge arched window to the left of the room at that end that gives lots of light and a beautiful view.
 Sugarplum has found a napping spot there!
The other patterns I have updated (so far!) are:
 Birthday Banner
(This has candles that can be removed and replaced and the child can put the right number on!)
Little Cowboy (or Cowgirl)

and The Good Shepherd.
None of these are updated in the download version yet, but will be soon. The paper version is $15 each plus shipping. 
My sister and I are also putting kits together for these patterns.
Things are beginning to happn again! 
Have a great  fall! (Oh NO! Don't! I've done that and it hurts!) I should say,
Have a great Autumn!
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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Just Sew!

I had a question about a wall hanging pattern I had in a local quilt shop and realized I had never uploaded it to my Craftsy shop! So now it is being uploaded and if you are interested in an easy, but showy, wall hanging for your sewing room the pattern is available!
On the sample above, I used buttons from my grandmother's button jar. The pins have little seed beads so they look like real pins! 
The size is 28" x 21 1/2" and the pattern is available for download at $8.99. ($12 plus shipping for a paper pattern.)
You can use my easy applique method (link to tutorial here) to hand applique or just sew it down by machine. 
Revisiting patterns I designed a few years ago gives me a renewed excitement to get started again! We are getting closer than ever to finishing the new sewing room. I can hear my husband in the background installing my cabinets! 
 The board in the middle of the room is to protect the floor from scuffing while I put together the cubicle cabinets. The cabinets in the background do not have their drawers in and are being installed against that wall. Baseboards are not installed yet. 
In the top photo, you can see the top of a large cabinet sitting out. We will have to have someone come and help install that over it's base. It's too heavy for me! 
I bought 13 ClosetMaid cubicle cabinets to put my fabric in.

I will have them stacked and anchored to the wall. I will tell you more about that when we finish. (I wish I were a ClosetMaid affiliate!
Until next time!

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Feeling Better and Ready to Get Back to Work!

I'm healing quickly and feeling anxious to get back to work downstairs on my sewing room! Sugarplum and I are tired of working puzzles.
 Just before the accident, I found these two end tables at a local thrift shop. I think that with a little work, I can turn them into an island for the downstairs kitchen. My husband is "dubious", so now I have to wow him with what I do! I will post a picture when I finish unless it is a big failure. I have a plan in my mind! (The boxes behind them are cabinets for my sewing room. I can't put them together until the floor is down in there because there is no place to store them in the meantime.)
 Speaking of thrift shops, I found something totally unexpected just Saturday. I was taking my time looking over the shelves and saw a big rock in a zip-loc bag.  I recognized it as a fossilized bone. 

 One person thinks it may be a whale bone. If any of you out there have any other ideas, let me know. Any paleontologists out there? It is very definitely fossilized and weighs about 2 pounds. The minerals in it look like the flint we have here among the limestone. Because this area of the hill country is a retirement area, there are all kinds of interesting things in the thrift shops. This could have come from anywhere in the world, although this part of Texas is known for it's fossils. There are dinosaur tracks not far from here, although I'm not saying this is a dinosaur vertebrae. If it is whale, it was brought here from elsewhere, which is probably the case.
I have not been able to go downstairs these last few weeks, but the underlayment is down, new air conditioning ducts and vents are in, and we are getting closer to being able to put down the flooring.
We're still enjoying the wildlife and it appears they are having fun at our expense!

We heard a noise in the garage and when we opened the door, this doe ran out! She found the deer corn and managed to get a new, unopened bag off a shelf and partially opened!
She just stood a distance away to see if we would feed her.
I hope to post pictures of my sewing room soon. I am SO ready for progress! 
Until then.....

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Humpty Dumpty Had a Great Fall!

It has been some time since I last posted. A lot has happened in that time. 
Do you see the top tier of terrace in the picture above? To give you a little idea of the scale, it is about 10 feet from top to bottom. Well, a couple of weeks ago I fell backwards off of this wall and landed just about a foot from the concrete at the bottom. I fractured my tibia near the knee, tore a meniscus, and fractured my ribs. (I also broke a toe, but I hurt so badly everywhere else, I didn't even know that for a day or so!) I have been in bed with my leg elevated and on ice. I was given crutches, but they hurt my ribs so badly I was switched to a walker! (how humiliating! It's good practice for when I get a little older.). I go back to the orthopedic doctor in two more weeks to be reevaluated. Hopefully, the meniscus will heal on its own. I am feeling MUCH better, but have been ordered to stay off the leg until he sees me again.
My sweet husband his waiting on me hand and foot. He is cooking and cleaning and recording when I take pills. He has even taken over my responsibilities at church setting up Bible class supplies for the little ones. He told our friends that I had pulled a "Humpty Dumpty"!
In the meantime, 
the two showers have been tiled and Doug is putting new underlayment down in preparation for the flooring. We had to scrape and sand the old one just to put a new layer down. He also replaced an entry door. I put a second coat of paint on the walls before my fall. 
We are planning on getting my sewing room set up as quickly as possible. I am unable to get down the stairs right now to even see the progress. (I have said from "day one" that  I wanted an elevator! I wish I had nagged a little more!)  The work is going much more slowly with only one person working.
Before you go, can you spot our visitor in this photo. She was trying to hide from us as we drove up to the house. 
 These photos are not great,but perhaps you can get an idea of what she looked like.
I hope your summer is going great so far!! 
Hugs to all!
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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Life Cycles, Recycles, and Remodels

Sugarplum woke from a sound sleep when something on the balcony outside caught her attention!

She jumped up to get a closer look!

 A Scott's Oriole had perched on the rail just outside the window. 

 The male and female have both been frantically racing back and forth with insects to feed a newly hatched brood of baby Orioles in the seldom used (thankfully!) light fixture above the balcony.
 They are a welcome addition to our wildlife managerie here at our hill country house which includes the deer, a fox, rabbits, squirrels, and many other birds and animals. We have been watching what appears to be first time swallow parents trying to build a nest. It has taken them much longer than we've previously seen swallows build nests, but they finally have it built and I think she is brooding eggs. 
Walking to the mailbox, I noticed this unusual bag-like nest in an agarita bush.
 It is about 10" long and covered with lichen. It was hard to get a photo without disturbing it, but I'm not sure it is still occupied! We tried to "shoot" and run! (With the camera, that is!)
 After researching the nest and birds common to this area, I believe it is a "Bushtit". (Yes, an unfortunate name, but a sweet, tiny bird that eats insects and sings songs!)
 It's so interesting to observe the life cycles around us. The mama deer are beginning to really bulge at the sides, so I expect to see fawns soon!
On the "Recycling" front, I happened to hit the thrift store during a time when they were gearing up for a move. Every clothing item was 25 cents!! I brought home more than I should have, but it was so much fun!! 
I am a "petite" (just over 5'1") so buying clothing off the rack has never been easy for me. I decided that for 25 cents, I could play a little with redesigning some of these clothes. 
 (Here is my attempt at getting a photo of myself in a linen short's outfit that was about 2 sizes too large.) (See my new summer haircut?)
I first took the sleeves out and narrowed the shoulders.
Then I removed the stitches in the crotch seam and made a skirt out of the shorts!

 A quick photo before hemming and final pressing. 
I don't know how often I will wear it, but the top and skirt together cost me 25 cents!

The remodeling downstairs is coming along!

I put insulation between the studs while my husband did other work. 
The sheetrock was installed and today we have men working downstairs taping, floating, and sanding. Tomorrow they will come back to texture. 
 This will be my sewing studio! I'm getting excited! I haven't gone downstairs to see how it looks today, but this was yesterday. The furniture will go in the media room, but we're having to move it around and keep it covered. They will take it outside tomorrow. I'm hoping the sun will continue to shine!
My mind is buzzing with ideas for my new space, but I have to wait a little longer! After I paint it, I will still have to wait for flooring and that will come after the bathrooms are tiled. 
In the meantime, I'm trying to stay patient! 
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