Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thanks, Uncle Ben!

Uncle Ben, I want to tell you about yesterday. Aunt Betsy babysat me while "mum" and "da" went out to dinner. I found your room...and wanted to thank you for sharing your toys with me while you are away at college.

I found this shelf... filled with all sorts of wonderful "balls". I couldn't wait to get my hands on them!

Aunt Betsy was really nice and let me hold each one.. until I wanted another.

Then I noticed this great hoop on your closet door. Again, Aunt Betsy, being the fun aunt that she is, helped me make a few hundred baskets.

I think her arms got tired so Aunt Betsy sat on your bed and held the hoop for me.

Speaking of your bed.... we did a little jumping and looking for more "balls" in the Sports Illustrated Covers on your wall.

I also liked your "ut ball" and tried to spin it like "da" does.

So thanks again, Uncle Ben. It will be more fun playing in your room with YOU when you come home! We miss you !

P.S. Don't worry..... Grammie will be cleaning everything up!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Perfect Match

Earlier in the fall I bought these vintage tureens from a dealer I know as he was unloading his truck at the flea market. Most were without lids and were a whopping $5.00 each. Single lids were $3.00. With those prices, I got carried away. I just couldn't leave them there! I did snag a few complete pieces...I think they may have been a bit more. This picture is actually a small portion of what I brought home. . . ironstone platters, sugar bowls, small miscellaneous pieces. To relieve my guilt, I have given a lot of it to friends.

Several months later, I went to PA with friends to this dealer's home to get a first hand peek at his stash. My chin was on the floor as I saw shelves and shelves of ironstone and transferware. Hundreds of pieces were without their "tops" or "bottoms", but still so charming. So... I brought more home. (I know, I might have a problem.... dishes and fabric.....) Well, the fun find of the day was hiding in the bottom of a box I was digging through. The lid for the pink ribbed tureen which I had bought months before! Back together..... a perfect match! It makes me smile. :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday at The Cottage!

This afternoon, Holly, Jack and I delivered some pillows to "The Cottage". Jack had just awakened from a nice nap so he was in a great mood. It was the perfect time to put him in this vintage fire truck and take a few pictures. Every time I see it, I think how cute it would be for my front porch. The porch is large, wide, and wraps around the side of the house... really big enough for some serious fire truck driving! If it ever goes on sale, I just may have to consider buying it!

Really, just look at this ... don't you think I NEED it?

On another note.... the real reason we went was to MAKE money, not spend it. These are some of the pillows I finished this morning. I had so much fun using the little crocheted pieces to make flowers. I had bought a large bag full at the Big Flea for $4! Pretty good investment...

So much to make... so little time!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cat Woman?

"Don't post anymore cat pictures, mom, everyone will think you're a cat woman!"
"Maybe I am a cat woman?"

Well, at least I've always really likes cats. And when you week is super busy, and you aren't photographing cute little children living at home anymore, cute cat pictures don't require much thought. So here are some fun "Jack Cat" pictures. He continues to entertain us with the unexpected little places he puts himself into.

You're probably wondering if that's all........
Nope! Remember I might be a "Cat woman". I have more!

Just one more. I'll save the rest for another day....

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hearts for Haiti

When I dropped off the sachets at The Cottage, Linda suggested I make little heart pins. I watched a lot of news this weekend.. images of Haiti and the devastation there. Hand sewing gave me lots of down time to sit and pray as I stitched. I hold on to God's promises that he sees the big picture of how this disaster can be used to draw people to him. If you are looking for an avenue for giving, Compassion International would be a place to explore. All proceeds from these little pins will be combined with my family relief gift for the need in Haiti.

So, after stitching and praying, here's the finished product! With more coat left, I also decided to make another batch of the larger sachets to enjoy at home. Still... more coat left.... not surprising! Any suggestions?

I'm discovering a whole new world of wool I'm unfamiliar with. I've been researching "felting" old wool sweaters. After placing them in a pillowcase and washing them in hot water in the washing machine, they go through the dryer and are shrunken and ready for cutting. ( The pillow case will protect the inside of the washer from fuzz.) I also found some felted wool at Jo Ann Fabrics and web sites specializing in wool felt, and ~ so I'm coming up with some new projects and thinking about old wool sweaters we have given away with regret!

Meanwhile- it's back to the familiar- pillow making- black/white, taupe and cream for a new pallet at the cottage! I plan on using some of those petticoats...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Repurpose and Reuse

I should have been the one to invent "the snuggie" because this has been part of my wardrobe for the past 10 years. Really, did I ever think this looked good?? I remember seeing this boiled wool wrap-coat at the Jones New York Outlet and fell in love. It was a big decision to chose black or red and I'm pretty sure I paid way too much for it. I decided I'd be bold and go for the red and I actually wore it for YEARS! For the past two years though, I knew it was time to move on. More than once, I'd pull it out of the coat closet to give away and then retrieve it. For what? I wasn't quite sure... but that was A LOT of good boiled wool.

When I was telling Holly that my plan was to cut up the coat, she said, "Oh mom, get Betsy to take your picture in it first, I want to remember you in that coat!" What she was really saying was that she just wanted to laugh at me wearing that coat! The question is- how long have people been laughing? (This picture is blurry because Betsy was having a hard time composing herself.) I just have one question for my girls. "Why did you ever let me wear this?"
Truly, I'm embarrassed!

So I began cutting and created these little sachets, using vintage lace and buttons as embellishments.

I took them to The Cottage yesterday. I think they are the perfect little gift for someone you love. I also have made several sets of LOVE blocks and embroidered pillows.

So I'm looking at a three day weekend.... more cutting of the coat!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


A girl can never have too many! Yesterday I spent most of the day at the D.C. Big Flea and the first stop was the TRUFFLE PIGS booth! These three girls never disappoint! They had their space packed with one of a kind hand-made pincushions and vintage sewing notions- trims, ribbons, buttons, fabric, and dolls. Over the years, I've splurged several times on these miniature works of art and although they are a bit over budget, I never have a regret.

This year, I bought this velveteen rabbit, sitting on his soft green pillow. Look at the carrot, coming out of the ground! All of the detail and the fine construction is amazing.

I also placed a special order for a blue bird which should be completed in several weeks. I was actually paying for my purchases when this giant strawberry caught my eye. I had no will power!

Past purchases include the three little chicks (which of course reminds me of my own three girls).

And a black dog (in memory of Sadie), an orange kitty, an antique stuffed doll house bed and a bumble bee. Each are made of the softest velveteen which is hand dyed.

From the same vendors, I got some great buttons and a load of old lace - from collars to petticoats. I plan to work with it this week and make some Valentine surprises.

Finally, after hours of walking through both buildings, this little sampler spoke to me. This scripture has always been a favorite of mine so it came home too. I'm looking for just the right place to hang it.

I suppose this verse can take on several messages, but it reminds me to be joyful and encouraging to others that they may see God's love through my attitude- my merry heart!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Last night the four kids and boyfriends and girlfriend went out for an early New Year's eve dinner. Ed and I watched Jack at our home. For us, it was a perfect New Years. Our kids chose to hang out together and we got Jack to ourselves. :)

It's been a busy week....lots of family, kids, and friends in and out! That means lots of piles and clutter (mostly mine, I'm afraid!) This afternoon the kids helped me take down the Christmas decorations. As we speak, the decorations are piled up... not taken down to the basement yet.... another pile! My life consist of too many unfinished projects to mention and too many sentimental "things" that I may someday need. I feel like I spend more time "moving things" than "using things"!!

Yesterday, I was talking to my friend, Connie, who is a wonderful housekeeper. She reminded me that January is de-clutter month. Now I'm not sure who started that but it is always a good time to clear out. I feel that way every year when I put away Christmas. So I am declaring that I AM DETERMINED TO CLEAN UP AND CLEAR OUT!!

PS~ Katie just read this post and said there were more pictures of Jack than anyone else- so here's a picture of Katie and her good friend, Kaitlyn. Happy Katie? (xoxo)