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Sunday, November 29, 2009

A couple of chicks stopping by

Yesterday was a cleaning/sewing/cooking day at the homestead. This is an embroidery design I bought on Thanksgiving day (online, of course) and worked on it a little all day long!! It is a cross stitch design and it really looks handmade. The machine started going crazy at the end, so I was getting frustrated with the thread breaking every few seconds, but finally it was done. There are 5 pictures in the pack, so will make them all and use them in table runners and mats for the dining room.
Well, you know how I have one hen who thinks we are friends (we are!!) and that she can come in whenever I have the door open. While I clean house, I leave all the doors open so things can air out and the dogs can run in and out. Lucy always comes in when the door is open.

She is checking out the cleaning job in the bathroom!

Inspecting the floors. She found a few crumbs!

Eventually Lucy invited her friend Ethel in for a quick walkabout!! I had gone out to clean the chicken coop and there they both were just milling about like they thought I should be cleaning my own darn house, not messing around with theirs. When I get Lucy out and close the doors, she will go around the house and look in every window and door to see if there is a way in. In the winter, she will sit on the woodpile and just stare inside at us. She is a laugh riot!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Gift containers for the holidays

When I was visiting with my friend Bev a few weeks back, we made the nicest gift containers using paint cans (you can buy them at Home Depot or Lowes), vintage pictures and GLITTER!! Oh my, how I love glitter!!
Deb came over for the day today and we made soap (a really different blend with grapefruit and lime essential oils and ground oatmeal---will be a great pick-me-up for the long winter ahead), went to lunch and then we made these cans together. The best part is all the glittering we did. Deb loves glitter too, and went to town on her pictures. They are so Christmassy!!
This is a small paint can with a gorgeous picture on it. Deb will put a puffy bow on the top of the can.
This is a bucket I did with birds and holly and bells. I loved this picture and had to use it. I got all of the pictures online when I looked for free vintage Christmas clip art and cards.

These two buckets have the same winter scene on them. Deb's is the one with the gold ribbon. She used a lot more glitter on her picture, but it is not over the top. It looks great. I am working on some vintage embroideries with my machine tomorrow. There are some really beautiful designs out there,and I am making a table runner tomorrow with a few. Thanks for the great ideas for the paint cans, BEV!! We were inspired!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Of course I have an inflatable turkey on the yard!! This guy is so cute that I just had to have him.

This is the second to last wool embroidery block that I had to make for the quilt I have been working on all year. The last block is for Christmas and will be finished by this weekend if I try hard. Then I can put it all together and viola!! It's been a joy working on this at night while I am watching tv. Handwork is fun.

This morning I made this guy on my embroidery machine while I was watching movies and the parade. It's a towel for the kitchen. It's just for display though and will be put away this weekend as I get ready for Christmas. It's 2:30 pm and I am still in my pajamas!! I've got the turkey in the oven and the bread rising, so pretty soon I'll have to hit the shower. No one is coming over though so it will be us and the kids for dinner. I actually like that though since it keeps it all so easy and simple. Ken and Rob are fishing at the ocean (Rob is feeling pretty good already), so they are having fun too. Evelyn has to work on Black Friday, but is home doing homework for college now. Her boyfriend came over already to watch the parade and have bagels with her. Now she is hitting the books!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wisdom teeth OUT!!

Doesn't Rob look like Santa??!! Only one month to Christmas. He even has the red clothes. He had all four wisdom teeth pulled today and the doctor said they were really impacted and hard to take out. So far though, he feels pretty good. We went to Borders while we waited for his prescription (for pain that will inevitably come VERY soon) and he got a new cook book (Alton Brown) from the tooth fairy. My mother reminded me that the tooth fairy needed to arrive some time today. His white beard is a towel with ice packs in it. He attached it to his head with a belt so that he could play his video game. Clever, isn't he? He has to eat soft foods for a few days, so Thanksgiving has to be a mostly mashed potato and pumkin pie event. Oh, he does not know I am posting this on my blog, so SSSHHHH!! I told him I was sending the picture to nana.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thankful pilgrims

I started this pilgrim wallhanging last week when Kenny asked me for one. There were no patterns available, so I looked online for some coloring book pages. Believe it or not, it was hard to find a picture that was not goofy or silly in some way. Eventually, I came up with this idea from a picture I saw on some clip art page.
Here they are with their faces and bodies outlined with black thread. I used a tight zig-zag stitch to make the outlines and contours on the clothes and hair.

Then I made some leaves and put them on the top and bottom of the pumpkin. They are three dimensional and have fabric on both sides of them.

The last step was to add an orange binding, which frames it up nicely. Overall, I am pretty happy with it. Since it was a make-it-up-as-you-go kind of project, there are some little mistakes, but no one else would realize it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A few recent projects.

I went to see my friend over at Bee Haven Acres last weekend and brought this reversible apron I made for Bev. She is the apron-making queen (even had one in a magazine!!), but I know it is still always fun to have someone else make us one! This is the Christmas side.

Evelyn came to the quilt shop when I was going for the fabric and she loved the little penguins skating on the ice.
This is the autumn side. The tan has wheat-like images on it. The big pocket has owls and pumpkins. Evelyn picked that out too. She has even told me that she would like to make an apron one day when she is done with college (in December she will graduate!!)

Today I took a class at the quilt shop on this folded star design. I did not buy ANY fabric for the class. Spent a few minutes in the attic going through my enormous stash and came up with these colors. Loved the way they came together. I had to leave the class early to attend an 80th birthday party for my neighbor, but came home later and finished it. It's in the frame and everything!
Kenny asked me for a Thanksgiving wallhanging with Pilgrims on it, and since there is no pattern available, I found some ideas from coloring books (always handy with easy designs) and created my own. It's almost done, but I am not sure how it will look! Maybe I will be able to post it tomorrow night. Or not!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Keeping a tradition alive. Dad makes Evelyn a Hope chest of her own!

This is the front of the hope chest. Each panel is separate and on little rubber spacers so that it can expand and contract each season when the weather changes.
The dark line around the top is all inlaid.

Evelyn has always loved dolphins. Dad carved these and put them into the top.

A full picture of the front. I love it!!
These balloons are from Dad's party on October 4th!! They are still flying high at our house:)

When my dad's 70th birthday was approaching, he was in the middle of making my daughter a hope chest. Remember how so many of us looked forward to having our own homes and families when we were young? A hope chest was a treasure that most of us wanted so that we could start collecting the things that would make our homes special. I don't think young women today have the same longings that we did back then, and they sure don't pine away for a hope chest! They have never even heard of them.
Well, dad made one for Evelyn and they made the decision to come here to deliver it in person. Of course, it was a surprise, so I could not tell her about it. For a few weeks I wanted to sort of mention hope chests and how we all wished for them when we were girls, but decided that would be too obvious.
She was so surprised and excited when she came home from work and saw her special gift. But, she had no inkling of its meaning or why she was getting one. (My dad made it clear she was not being coerced into marriage, but explained the tradition to her.) Evelyn was so touched by the gift and the letter my dad wrote to her about her and how special she is, that she told all of her friends about her hope chest and how grandpa made her one of her own. Now, they all want one too! Mom got her some new towels to put in there, so she is on her way to filling it with lovely things for her future home. It is sad when we forget the good traditions and just let them go. I loved (and still use) my own hope chest. Now Evelyn has her own family heirloom!