Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Chocolate dipped pretzel rods and spoons
Real Southern Cornbread
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
I took an extra long Thanksgiving weekend to take a painting class offered by a lady who is a wonderful artist. She paints using oils. There was a really cute painting of hers that I saw at an art show and I loved it so much, but I couldn't afford to pay $200 for it, even if it was in a frame. On a whim, I wrote down her phone number and called her just to see if she might teach painting classes, hoping in the back of my mind that she taught that particular painting or would at least be willing to teach it.
I called her and I couldn't believe my luck. She does indeed teach painting classes and she told me that she had taught that painting before. The sad part is that she only teaches during the day when I'm at work, and she wasn't interested in teaching on the weekends. I was so sad until I remembered that I had asked to take a couple days after Thanksgiving and realized I could go and learn how to paint it then. That's exactly what I did yesterday and Monday. I had the best fun, and I learned some new painting techniques that I hope will open up a whole new world of painting for me. To think I've been doing it the hard way for so long, and found this new easier, much more fun way of painting.
The above picture is actually a photo of the painting that she did. I have not finished mine yet. I'm about half finished with it. I'm definitely learning new things as I go along. I'm excited about it and and hope I can work on it some this week or this weekend.
I went by A.C. Moore yesterday and they have 16 x 20 canvases on sale for $3.00. I bought two in hopes of doing a couple more paintings. I hope to learn much more. I have to learn and you only learn by doing, so I'm really looking forward to it and having fun.
I told her that if I didn't have to work full time I would be there every Monday and Tuesday because that is just right down my alley. It would be so much fun to be able to go two days a week and paint for 4 hours each day.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
This morning on the way to work I started thinking about how I first became interested in needlework. It wasn't from my mother because she never did needlework except when she was much younger. Something must have changed for her after she grew up and got married. She was never interested in any kind of needlework after that. What I would give to have all those pieces she embroidered as a young girl. I really grieve over that sometimes. I really love heirloom pieces and especially something that my mother might have embroidered or made. It makes me sick to think that somewhere down the line someone who was going through some things after a death, just carelessly threw them away or gave them away.
I first became interested in needlework when I was in junior high school in Home Ec class. They called it Home Economics back then. I don't know what they call it now, or if they even have such a thing. One day I went into class and I saw a good friend of mine making an afghan. It was white daisies and she was crocheting them together. I was immediately intrigued and knew this looked like something I might be interest in, so I told her how beautiful I though it was and asked her if she would show me how to make it. She did, and I went on to make one and I even showed my grandmother how to make one. She ended up making a bedspread size.
Back then in the mid to late 60's everything was daisies and granny squares. To make this afghan you had a small round daisy loom that had little spokes sticking up all around it. You wound your yarn around and made a daisy flower and then you made a center for it. So what you would have is a white flower and a red center. You would make lots and lots of these daisies and, the best I can remember, you would crochet them together using a chain stitch. You could also have a yellow daisy with a dark green center and crochet them together with a darker contrasting color. They were very pretty. I've seen a few daisy looms recently, but not quite in the same shape. The ones I saw had a more square shape. I think I've seen them in some catalogs like maybe Herrschners or something like that. I did a Google search this morning and what do you know, I guess they still make them. The only difference is that this one is blue and mine was yellow, which was a popular color back then.
The sad part is that over the years I lost the daisy loom and I also can't find the afghans that I made or the one my grandmother made. It was given to me when she died and I can't find either one of them. I think they are probably packed away somewhere, but I've moved so many times over the years, I fear they may have accidentally been given away. I guess that doesn't say a whole lot for someone who is supposed to value heirlooms, does it?
Maybe I'll buy a daisy loom and make a small afghan using today's colors, just for old times sake.
Monday, October 16, 2006
The brand name is Sockotta and I love the color. I don't know what the color is called, but the label says Color 505. I just love it because it's one of the self-patterning yarns and it reminds me of intarsia. It looks like alot of work and wasn't really any work at all. All I have to do is knit and get this great looking sock. It's one of my favorites so far. I love self-patterning sock yarn.
I've also joined a group called Fairy Goddess Mothers. They make quilts and things with a fairie theme and write stories about the fairies. I've always been intrigued by fairies and I thought this would be fun. I love fairy stories, sparkly things, and fairy wings. Here is what I made this weekend.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
I've made this one before in other colors, but I made this one in a variegated purple. It's Aunt Lydia's, I think. It came out really pretty. I'm pleased with it. It has some mistakes, but if you don't look too closely, you won't find them.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Friday, September 15, 2006
I had talked to the instructor a couple of weeks before that and she told me that the first class is free and then I would get a discount for the rest of the classes. I went with great fear because I figured I would be the only person there who was overweight and that I would be clumsy and uncoordinated. I was looking to see all these wonderful bodies in their cute outfits and here would be frumpy me. Well, there are women of all ages, sizes, and shapes in that class. I felt great from the very first time and I was hooked again right away. I signed up that night and I've been going ever since. I started last week and have been 3 times this week and already I can tell a difference in my waist line. This morning I was able to put on a pair of jeans comfortably that had practically cut off my circulation before I started this class. I'm also watching what I'm eating as well. Cutting out junk food and trying to eat healthier. So far, I love it and I'm still clumsy and uncoordinated, but hopefully that will get better with time. At any rate I'm having a ball. It doesn't even seem like exercise.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Thursday, September 07, 2006
After that, I started searching the Internet and found a cute pattern for a cloth doll. Several in fact, but I thought this one looked fairly easy, and it was. The pattern is called Fancy Nancy and can be found here. Here is a picture:
And then, here's my version:
She has a little bit of a wrinkled face, which I found out later can be remedied by using t-shirting stretch type fabric. This was not mentioned in the directions, so how was I to know? In fact, come to think of it, there were several things not mentioned in the pattern, but I figured them out. She's not perfect, but I think she's really cute.
A couple of days ago I was looking through my photo album that has quilts that I have taken pictures of from the quilt show that I've attended in Nashville and found this picture.
Hypatia, the Library Fairie
Westerly, Rhode Island
A library may seem a strange place for a fairie. You generally find them out of doors, among the wildflowers, flitting alongside a monarch butterfly or sipping dew from a buttercup. Dark paneling and musty-dusty old books hardly seem a congenial environment for fairies. Yet, that is where you will find Hypatia, if you look hard enough. She is rather unobtrusive for a fairie. Her hair is the color of well-worn leather, and her wings mimic vintage feathered endpapers. Her wine-colored dress blends into dark corners. She speaks barely above a whisper.
Yes, Hypatia is a Library Fairie. If you have ever frequented a library you have encountered her kind. Oh, yes, you have. Hypatia may have been the one who welcomed you, a timid pre-schooler, into story hour. She held your hand while you were led into a world of enchantment. So you DO remember. That was before you were told by well-meaning adults that fairies, like Santa Claus, did not exist. She’s still there, just as she’s always been.
Hypatia brings poetry to lovers, romance to the lonely and forlorn, and adventure to those without the health or wherewithal to seek it themselves. She finds the just the perfect recipe and saves the day for a nervous hostess. She helps those in sorrow find solace in the words of those who have gone before.
Sometimes we literally need a knock on the head, and Hypatia is not above doing just that. Have you ever walked down the stacks and had just the right book, at the right time, fall on you? Hypatia again. You might hear her muffled giggle as you bend to pick it up.
Hypatia is ageless. Her capacity for hard work has not dimmed - if anything, it has gotten stronger. There are so many books, more books all the time, books of words that can heal or hurt, words that can unite or divide. Hypatia realizes these words must be shared, that ignorance is not a stop along the pathway to peace and understanding. Thus, Hypatia chooses stacks and shelves over flowers and fresh air.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
We also have a stray who has been hanging around our house. We felt sorry for him and started feeding him. I would have done that anyway because I can't stand the thought of any pet going hungry. Now he knows when breakfast and supper time is because he's at our back door at those times. At first he would just observe us from a distance. In the first few weeks, when I would come home from work I could see him at the far end of the back yard sitting, patiently, watching us. When we first started feeding him, he would run as soon as we came out the door with the food, but after we went back inside he would cautiously creep back up on the back patio and eat the food we had put out for him. Now, he must have decided he can trust us because he'll let us pet him and Eddie said that one day he even jumped into his lap briefly. He's still skittish, but he'll let us pet him now. So, I guess that means that we have an outside cat now. I don't know what we are going to do this winter. A friend suggested maybe getting one of those small dog houses for him. I'll have to look at some and see what I can get at a reasonable price. We don't have a garage or basement or anything like that for him to go into. All we have is a carport, so we'll have to figure out something.
As soon as I can, I'll try to take a picture of him and post it. He's a pretty cat. He's a black and white long hair and Eddie has already named him Spanky after the Spanky the dog that was on the show The Little Rascals. He said his coloring reminded him of the dog. Spanky the cat has a black mark around one eye just like Spanky the dog had as best as I can remember what the dog looked like. It's been a long time since I saw one of those shows.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Last night I finished a quilt top that I'm getting ready to put into the frame to quilt. I'm making it for a friend who has been begging me to make her a quilt. She has offered to pay me to make it, but I'm not going to take money from her. She's out of work and to top everything off, she's been diagnosed with cancerous tumors. I'm giving her the quilt. It's the least I can do.
I have decided, though, that after I finish this quilt and give it to her, that I'm going to start quilting quilt tops to earn extra money to help pay off some major debts that we have. If I have to take a second job to earn some extra money, it may as well be doing something that I enjoy. I can sit in the sunroom with Eddie and watch TV while I'm quilting. I can't think of a better way to get paid for doing something I love.
When I finish a quilt I guess I sort of feel like authors do when they finish a book. Sort of like Joan Wilder did in the movie Romancing the Stone. I want to celebrate. It sounds vain, I know, but there is a joy in finishing something that you are proud of. I just want to look at the finished quilt and admire it and feel thankful that I am able to create something so beautiful. Not because I'm good, but because God gave me the gift and ability to be able to do it.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Yesterday Heckle came in to help me. This is his contribution to the job.
I would love to have done was he was doing, but that would have been the easy way out and it wouldn't have gotten the job done. I'm making pretty good headway. At least I can see the floor now.
In between painting the bedroom and cleaning the sewing room, I took a few breaks just to get myself away from the work. I made a few sling purses. I like these because when I go someplace where I know I will do a lot of walking I don't like to lug around my heavy purse. With these small purses I can just put some money, maybe a credit card and my driver's license and I'm all set. They are not too heavy for a lot of walking. These first two I used a pattern and sewed them on the sewing machine. The next two I crocheted.
I really enjoyed making these. They were fun, quick and easy to make. A couple of years ago I made this crazy quilt purse. It was fun too, and was my first attempt at making anything crazy quilt, and using clasps for the top of the purse. It was not fun and I don't think I got the clasps on as well as I would like, so I'm pretty sure I won't be making anymore with clasps. I like the flaps alot better. They are easier to make.
Some more things that I made that I think I forgot to post a picture of here were the hatpins I was talking about a couple of weeks ago. They are really fun to make too. I wanted something pretty to go in our new bedroom and I'm really happy with the way these came out.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
I've been working on cleaning up my sewing room this week. I can't wait to get it back in shape so I can use it again. Over the past couple of years, ever since the construction on the sunroom, it has become a catchall room. You know, one of those rooms where things get tossed when trying to clean up the house. Or, someone calls and says they're coming over in 5 minutes (if you're lucky enough that they call first) and you're trying franticially looking for a convenient place to put stuff to get it up out of sight. It's the room where you keep the door shut and hope that no one opens it either by accident or on purpose. I've had that happen to me twice within the past week. The first time my cousin opened it by accident, and the second time my friend opened it just to see what the fuss was all about. I had been bemoaning the shape it was in and I guess she was curious. I don't feel too badly, though, because her sewing room was once in almost as bad a shape as mine. She said if she can get hers back in order, I can get straighten mine out too. And I'm doing it, little by little. And I'm beginning to see some progress, but I still have a long way to go.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
So, as a result, I've been escaping from the bedroom ordeal by thinking about doing some kind of crafts to get my mind off of the bedroom. This is what I've been thinking about lately. Hat pins, pin cushions, and small crazy quilt purses.
I've decided that I want to make some hat pins to put in a pin cushion to go in our bedroom when it's finished. I also saw some pretty mirror back covers that I love and would like to make to go in our bedroom too.
I have a feeling that this is going to be a girlie room. I guess Eddie will have to look elsewhere in the house for his man room.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
I'm thinking about doing a Faux technique on the walls. I've been wrestling with deciding which color to put on the walls. Finally, my friend, Susan, said to just use a neutral color that I can do anything with. She suggested a light beige and then sponging (or some kind of technique) on a darker beige. I'm actually leaning toward a Tuscany look, but I don't want it to be too orange or rust looking. Actually rust or dark brown might not be bad. I watched "Under the Tuscan Sun" one night this week, hoping to get some inspiration. I remind myself of the commercial of the woman who has gazillions of paint sample sheets from the store and she can't decide what color to use on her walls. She's about to pull her hair out. I think it's a commercial for TrueValue hardware store.
Then I've been wrestling with the type of curtains I should hang. Do I make them or buy them? My cousin, who is going to help me paint the room, suggested using my lace curtains and dying them and then hanging them like swags. Sort of drape them over a rod, something like the picture below, and instead of using the metal discs, just make fabric rosettes and put them at each corner. After I saw this idea in a decorating book that I checked out from the library, I actually made a sample fabric rosette and it came out really pretty. I think I'm going to really like that.
It's probably what I'm going to wind up doing. It's about the easiest and most inexpensive way to go. We don't really use a bedspread or comforter on our bed. I make quilts, so we usually use them for a bedspread. At any rate, I'd better decide pretty soon because my cousin and I plan to paint the room over the July 4th weekend. We are both taking Friday, June 30, and plan to work on it that weekend. I found some Roman shades at Tuesday Morning and I really like them. They are an eggshell color with a pretty design going through them sort of like the design in Damask fabric.
This week the Riverbend Festival has been going on in our city. It's basically a music festival that goes on for 9 days straight. Eddie has been going just about every night, but not me. I go some nights, but not every night. It's just too hard to stay out late and then have to get up the next morning to go to work. The nights that he goes to Riverbend and I say home, I usually read or watch a movie and/or knit. It's a nice, restful way to spend an evening.
Today at lunch I went to a used book store and bought a series mystery. After reading about it on Willa's blog, I remembered reading the first in the Dead-End Job series awhile back and never got around to reading the rest of them. I love those kinds of mysteries. They are what a friend of mine and I call "cozies."
Friday, June 02, 2006
I've been really lazy lately. I haven't been interested in doing anything much. I did see a purse I wanted to make, though. I was in the Hobby Lobby fabric department one day buying fabric and the lady in front of me asked me if I was making a purse. I told her that I made tote bags and sometimes purses. She said that she made purses and she had one with her that she had made. It was really cute. She had made it out of comic book fabric and it had some fuzzy fur around the top. I asked her several questions about it because I knew that it was the kind of purse that I would like and want to make. She said it was from either a Simplicity or McCall's pattern, she couldn't remember which, and she told me that she had gotten the purse handles right there at Hobby Lobby. I thanked her for the information and I went over to the pattern department and started looking up the purse patterns. I found the one that I thought it might be in the McCall's pattern book. It's M4885. I waited until Hancock's had a sale and I got the pattern for 99 cents. The one I made is view B, but I really like view F too, and may make one later on like that.
I found some really pretty black and white toile fabric in the sale bin at Hobby Lobby that I thought would make a cute purse. I bought some black handles and I was in business. I think the purse came out really cute. It was a really easy pattern. If I made it, it must be easy because I'm not that good of a sewer. I have another one started, but haven't begun sewing on it yet. It's a pink toile. I really want to make one with fall colors, but I haven't found anything yet.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
On Sunday, Eddie and I and his mother and stepdad went to the Sunday Market that we have in our city. Several vendors were there with antiques and one of the vendors had some beautiful embroidered dresser scarves. They were only $2.00 each, so I bought two, and my mother-in-law bought one. Here are the two that I bought.
Friday, April 28, 2006
This past weekend my cousin invited me and Eddie to come up to Spring Creek Retreat in Reliance, TN with some friends of ours to spend the weekend. This was a rare photo that one of our friends took of me and Eddie. For once, he's not frowning in a picture.
I think I need to do something with my hair. I look like I have wings.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
I wanted to post a picture of some really pretty journals that I found at Tuesday Morning a couple of weeks ago. I've sporadically kept written journals over the years, but I think it was mostly because I had such a boring journal or notebook to write in. I just love these journals and I know now that I'll write in them almost every day. I'm actually only writing in one and when I fill that one up I'll start writing in the other one. I'm currently writing in the Hydrangea one. The pages have pretty hydrangeas on them too, but when I tried to take a picture of the pages on the inside, the lines did something funny and didn't look right, so I gave that up. You can see the pretty cover and inside cover of the hydrangea one.
I bought this next journal the second day as well as the other one, and it's really pretty too.