Thursday, October 30, 2008

On Kitchen Detail....

Another box that got unpacked was all the "doodads" from kitchens-past. I love advertising things...tins, signs, crocks with words. And old utensils that I can't imagine HOW they ever used them.

You will find lots of this kind of memorabilia in my kitchen.

The red paint really warmed up the room and I love how it looks! The countertop is next...it's gotta go..it's a 1980s gray formica. Not sure WHAT I'll do, I can't afford granite, but I've seen some LOVELY kitchens with it in my travels.

That's the neat thing about staying with guild members when I travel. I get to see their homes and how they display things. One Holiday Inn to the other...all the same...but staying with quilters is SO FUN!

I love this little Radio/Ipod dock that I just found at Target! It looks vintage of a sort, but it has great sound, and I can just push the ON button to hear my music when I am in the kitchen without having to go to the living room stereo. It sits on top of an old antique ice box, carved in the Eastlake style. Another thing I can't believe women had to deal with...MELTING ICE to keep food fresh? Amazing.

At some point I'd like to redo the floor too, and carry the wood floor in from the laundry hall through the kitchen and through the dining room, which at this point is some kind of outdated parquet.

At some point...these light fixtures need to go, too. The stained glass one gives LOTS of nice light, but it is really dated..it shouts out 1990 at you. And the hanging thing? Just don't go there. It just has to go. I don't want a hanging thing, just a nice ceiling fixture for extra light. I don't know how anyone ever fit a kitchen table in this kitchen, it's just too small, so why have a hanging lamp there? The world may never know.

But then again, we will never know WHY the light switch inside the front hall closet turns on and off the master bathroom lights either! It reminds me of that commercial where the guy is going "on, off, on, off" With the switch,and the old lady next door has the garage door opening and closing on her car..*LOL*

We also found, when we lost power to the garage and the sunroom, that it was because the outlet in the master bathroom (on the opposite side of the house) had tripped. You have to push the red button to reset everything. We tried everything..the fuse box, etc...nothing looked tripped! But then..we found that red button in the outlet. Duh. Who would think that a bathroom reset button would effect the GARAGE on the opposite side of the house?

As Artie Johnson said on "Laugh In": "Inellesting. Velly Velly Intellesting....BUT SCHTOOOPID!!" :cD

Oh, and don't you love this sign? I found it in PA....*hehehe* It's hanging above the door from the kitchen to the dining room ;c)

Down The Laundry Hall...

I bet you didn't know that along with everything else,I collect.....washboards!

I love the advertising on them, and what the labels say. I can't ever imagine having to do laundry on one,but if I ever need to, I figure I've got a good supply :c)

Remember the "Before" pictures? The walls were white, there was terrible wallpaper below the chair rail, and the doors were "BLUE" *shudder*

I really like it now! I was able to hang all my favorite vintage aprons, some tin advertising signs, and all my washboards down the Laundry hall...

It doesn't make doing laundry any more fun,but when I think of how easy it is to throw things in my stacking front loader and dryer, as compared to these washboards or even a wringer washer (which must have felt blissful at the time!)I am grateful!

The top SMALL washboard reads:
Ideal for Silks, Hosiery, and Lingerie
Or Handkercheifs. Just the right size to fit a Bucket, Pail, or Lavatory. Packs easily into a Suit Case or Traveling Bag.

Suitcase or Traveling Bag? I don't THINK SO! Nor do I want to be using it in anyone's lavatory. Doesn't it humble and amaze you to realize how far we have come? Just like that old cigarette commercial from the 70s...."You've come a LONG WAY, BABY!"

I still haven't sat at the sewing machine yet. Too much to do to get ready for Wisconsin on Sunday. The trunkshow quilts are in the livingroom. I'm packing 2 big body-bag duffels, and they both have to be under 50lbs. My clothes will be in a carryon..I figure since I am hitting 8 guilds, it doesn't matter if I wear things twice, and do laundry in between. What I can't carry for trunkshow will be on a power point presentation,but I hate to do that. I keep feeling that in that case, people may as well just stay home and read my blog or check out my website to see the quilts that way,you know? But we do what we can!

Oh, best news of all...JEFF GOT A JOB!!! *happy dancing* Yes...he is to now be the salad chef and Prince-of-Hot-Rolls at Fatz Cafe in Greensboro. HALLELUJIA! You never saw a kid as happy to have a job as much as he is. I am thrilled for him.

Feeling LikeHome....

It was cold enough this morning to light a fire in the woodstove in my studio...AHHHHH!! I love the heat that comes from a REAL fire. This weekend I need to get a couple more cords of wood delivered, no one is home long enough to have time or the ability to trek out and cut it ourselves...but I want wood heat this winter...

Here are some pics of how the house decorating is coming. It is SO HARD to want to hammer nails into newly painted walls! But I am loving how it is coming out.

This is the ladder that I bought in Liberty...it's perfect for hanging the quilts! And can you see how I hung the beat up old green shutters (also found in Liberty)on either side of the dining room window INSIDE the room? My son doesn't understand that it is a "design element"..he thinks they only belong outside..but I saw this in a Country Living type magazine and loved it. It stayed in the back of my mind for "some day" and some day came yesterday :c)

I also found the saw in Liberty, it's been waiting since last spring to have a quilt hung from it's blade :c) (yes the blade is wrapped so it doesn't harm the quilt! I actually thought of hanging it blade side up,but it gave less width to display the quilt...

I was able to unpack ALL the boxes of china..I only broke ONE saucer :c( Not bad as often as this stuff has been moved around. I love seeing my great grandmother's china out in the china hutch ready to be used.

And I AM promising to use it more often. No sense in having it there if it doesn't make some memories for my kids. When I pass it on to them..I want them to have an attachment to it. (Kind of like we have with our fabric, and quilts, right?)

I used to play "tea party" with the colored tea cups and saucers when I was little. These are special to me. There are also some tiny German demitasse cups, only 1 saucer survives to this day, but oh the tea parties with my dollies under neath the tree limbs!

In my unpacking I came upon my old patchwork quilt pumpkins, and my halloween table topper. It's over 10 years old now, pulled out every year the 1st of October (I'm late this year) and it is fading...might have to make another one at some point. I love Halloween...just fun for kids. It feels weird not to be carving pumpkins with them anymore. I don't want to be the only one carving, it's just not the same.

I do have some "plug in" pumpkins that I bought as an alternative...and those are plugged in and glowing!

The dining room lamp HAS to go. It is just the wrong feel for the room. It came with the house, and all that brass and etched glass is just too.....tooo.....SHINY? Something. I'm going to check at Lowe's or Home Depot to see if I can find something more hammered and beat up looking :c) Distressed bronze or wrought iron? Something to go with the rustic feel of the rest of the room.

I also found a plate hanger thing..holds 3 plates...that I want from Hobby Lobby, but it was not on sale this week ;c) It might have to wait. I don't think I have a current coupon floating around anywhere. I have 3 large redware plates that would be a great accent on the wall to the right of where the quilt ladder is. It's a big blank spot there.

Monday, October 27, 2008

3am Hot Flash Progress....

I love really quirky movies. Nothing is better than finding a movie on pay per view, or on-demand and starting it when *I* want to start it, pausing it when I want a break to get a drink or run for something, and enjoying it full throttle with hand stitching in my lap :c)

Even better than that, my mom and step-dad spend the year making DVDs for us of really OLD movies (1940s-1960s) and I always look forward to seeing what they send. Most them them I barely remember, or haven't seen at all. LOVE the old movies!

The past couple of evenings I've done just this (The guys were watching football upstairs...)in my quilt room and am amazed what a calming effect it has. Just to sit...not to talk...just to stitch...not to listen to crowds on TV cheering and announcers announcing (and family members yelling at the TV or the refs or the players..why DO they DO THAT?!).

I think I am appreciating the "not having to talk" when I am home alone more and more.

I am about 1/2 way I think or a bit more on 3 AM Hot Flash! I thought I'd show you some pics to see...since it seems I haven't really been quilting....I have. Not a lot of piecing...but...hand work works too.

The white stitches are my machine basting, they are coming out as I reach each area.

The center panel is straight lines, the next round has baptist fans. The skinny 3rd round has straight lines, the wide 4th round is the one I am working on now, with a hand drawn waving wonky feather. I'll put a design in the black border, and then I think more straight lines in the last round to finish it off.

This afternoon I'm headed to Smith Mountain Lake, VA! More pretty driving with the leaves the way they are. I take back roads, and it will be a snap, only about 110 miles or so. The lecture/trunkshow is tomorrow morning, with a 1/2 day crumbs class after. I'll be home tomorrow evening. Just a Quickie :cD

Autumn in Quiltville

I woke this morning feeling a chill,but knowing it wouldn't last for long...the sun is out :c) I'm one of those who LIKE Daylight savings time in the fall because then I can crawl out of bed an hour earlier. I don't like getting up in the dark...so today...I didn't!

As I looked out my kitchen window while waiting for water to boil for tea, I saw the play of the morning sun on the turning leaves and just had to grab my camera. What I can capture with a digital image, can't really show you just how fresh and woodsy it smells out there!

Looking up through the leaves from below at the sky....

Our little creek at the back of the property is mostly dry,but it runs after a storm! Buddy loves this creek. He is a water dog for sure,you can't keep him out of it! Of course, it is only deep enough for him to lie in it and get his belly wet :c)

Looking up from our backyard along the powerline path. I love that there are no fences out there...don't fence me in!

The back of the house looking up from the grassy area before you get to the creek. The leaves were blowing as I took this pic..I don't think you can see them falling. That hottub in the gazebo is one of my favorite things about this house....BLISS!

Again, from the house looking down towards the creek....

More limbs and leaves....

Looking up...seeing all the greens and golds in all their glory, every shade in between, each leaf an individual part of the whole. Isn't it wondrous?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Stupid Internet Rumors.....

I have "dear family member" who tends to fall for every internet rumor out there, and will either tell me about it on the phone, or Fw:fw:fw:fw:fw:fw: it to everyone in her email address book with the title of "PLEASE READ!"

The latest one just did not ring true to me. Even when hearing about it on the phone.

The rumor goes like this:
"Those 'cute' cocktail carrots you buy in grocery stores come from deformed crooked big carrots. They are put through a machine to become small cocktail carrots. But after they are cut to size they are soaked in large vats of water mixed with chlorine to preserve them.

Then she went on to tell me that they are SWEET because they are soaked in a sugar solution,or worse yet, a HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP SOLUTION! *gasp*

Great, I'm getting visions of giant mutant carrots being forced into shape....but so what? I've GROWN those mutant carrots in my garden before..you know the ones that you pull out and they have two roots on them? Or they start looking like an Orange Abraham Lincoln or something? It's a carrot.

As for the chlorine part, a check on snopes proved the following:
First, baby-cut carrots are cut down from bigger carrots, but the carrots used are specially bred to be sweeter tasting and their color is even throughout the carrot. Malformed carrots and those not the right size for baby-cut carrots will be left either as whole carrots, turned into juice or used for animal feed.

Second, the baby carrots are bathed in chlorine as an antimicrobial agent, and this is considered an accepted practice when processing all fresh-cut, ready-to-eat vegetables.

They are rinsed to remove any excess chlorine before packaging.

Third, what about that white "film" on the carrots? This is nothing more than a dried out carrot surface. Any carrot, even one from your own garden, will get this dried out look if it were peeled and not kept in a moist environment. If your carrots start looking whitish, simply rehydrate them with a little water.

Geeze Louise.....Needless to say that my doubts were confirmed. And if my relative would "Carrot ALL" (care at all) about what she was forwarding she could have checked it out. But of course, these things....these scare stories...are always good for email fw:fw:fw:fw:fw:fw: fodder.

Is it against the law to put your own relatives into your spam filter? :cÞ

Newly Painted House :c)

I can't believe what a difference this makes in this little cottage of mine! It warms it up considerably, and our painter couldn't have been better. Remember I had to remove kitchen wallpaper from sheet rock that had not been primed? There were gouges and peeling wallboard paper, it was UGLY. So we decided to do a faux texture in there, much like stucco. I LOVE IT!! He even did some faux painting....mixing in black and a terracotta color over the brick red paint in the kitchen....FUN!

Only problem is now we have to re-hang everything to get it back functional. And here I am not wanting to cover up the newly painted walls or pound holes into them with nails to hang the stuff!

When does one go from "gotta have it all" to "less is more"? I might not put out as much as I had decorating wise before. We will see. I might find myself having a yard sale :c) (Yeah, right, like tell me when THAT will fit in my schedule?)

So this is today's agenda....get this from a "just moved in" look, to being cozy and warm and inviting.

House Painting
The dining room turns out to be smaller than I thought. I can't fit BOTH the hoosier cabinet AND the china cabinet in there and still have room to move the chairs away from the table :c( So...the hoosier is still out in the sun room. That's okay. I can now unpack my china!

And I have those shutters I bought at the Liberty antiques festival to go on either side of the dining room windows. They are a battered green. This is going to look rustic and cool :c)

And since it's 9:30am...the day is a wastin' and I better get started!

Somewhere in Cartersville, GA.....

I'd never been to Cartersville before! It's north of Atlanta, up towards the foothills of the Smokey Mountains..If you follow I-75/401 all the way north, you will end up in Chatanooga TN. :c) It was BEAUTIFUL up there! Rolling hills, dairy farms, trains winding their way through the hills.I loved my time there, and the people, the quilters, well, top notch doesn't reach high enough!

Here are some pics from our Happy Scrappy Houses class. As always, it is a challenge to get those "boxed in" folks to think outside of their box,but eventually they will succumb to putting an orange door on a purple house, etc :cD

One lady said over and over that she couldn't do it because she is self-admittedly "Too much of a control freak". I asked her if she was happy being that way? She said "Well, yes....mostly..." And that's okay! But just know that you might be missing out on some fun, and some growth, if you always keep yourself within that box :c)

Cartersville GA Oct 2008
The last two pics.....you will see a handsome gentleman and a lovely gal in front of a quilt...this is the guild RAFFLE quilt! And I had the pleasure of drawing this lady's name on guild night. We called her right in the middle of the meeting (you could hear a pin drop) And when she said "NO WAY!!" We said "YES WAY!" And the whole room cheered! I'm sure she was taken a back by the noise of us all cheering and clapping for her.

The next day she came and picked up the quilt with her hubby, and brought along the FIRST TOP she just finished...baskets! With APPLIQUE HANDLES! I think she is going to join the guild, and she will be well taken care of.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Zoo Videos

I loved the Panda! TOO CUTE!

And the Flamingos...they are just so quirky, how can you NOT like them!? Kind of like me, long skinny legs, big body..uhhuh...and pink! What's not to like about pink?! :cD

Quiltville in the Wild!

I left Mansfield GA on Sunday, driving up through Atlanta to reach Cartersville. I saw the sign for Zoo Atlanta, and just HAD to stop! The weather was gorgeous, and after being cooped up, I really just wanted to walk and get some fresh air.

It also came at a timely moment because I am listening to "The zookeepers wife"by Diane Ackerman on Mp3 as I travel.

The story is about one of the most successful hideouts during WWII in Warsaw, Poland. What a great story.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Ackerman (A Natural History of the Senses) tells the remarkable WWII story of Jan Zabinski, the director of the Warsaw Zoo, and his wife, Antonina, who, with courage and coolheaded ingenuity, sheltered 300 Jews as well as Polish resisters in their villa and in animal cages and sheds. Using Antonina's diaries, other contemporary sources and her own research in Poland, Ackerman takes us into the Warsaw ghetto and the 1943 Jewish uprising and also describes the Poles' revolt against the Nazi occupiers in 1944. She introduces us to such varied figures as Lutz Heck, the duplicitous head of the Berlin zoo; Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, spiritual head of the ghetto; and the leaders of Zegota, the Polish organization that rescued Jews. Ackerman reveals other rescuers, like Dr. Mada Walter, who helped many Jews pass, giving lessons on how to appear Aryan and not attract notice. Ackerman's writing is viscerally evocative, as in her description of the effects of the German bombing of the zoo area: ...the sky broke open and whistling fire hurtled down, cages exploded, moats rained upward, iron bars squealed as they wrenched apart.

So as I'm walking around the zoo, I'm picturing events in the book, and how people would have gone undetected living in zoo enclosures, underground,etc. Amazing perspective....

You know what it costs an adult to get into a zoo these days? $20! I can't imagine how families afford it at all...unless you live local, get a year's membership and use it every weekend.

Still, it was wonderful fun seeing the animals enjoying the sunshine. The humidity is finally way down, and temps are pleasant! I think they were enjoying it as much as I was.

Zoo Atlanta Oct 2008
Here's a little slide show for you (oh these slide shows are the coolest thing! I know there are a few of you on dial up that can't do it, so please forgive me..it's the only way to get the most of my photos.)

I was trying to upload a couple videos to google,but it's taking forever, so I'll leave that for later!

Dear Jane Southeast Sewing Retreat!

Just to show you how spacious the room we sewed in was....here are several pics!

I think there were 24 of us attending, which put 2 of us to a table. It was perfect. The lodging is much like hotel lodging...my room had a set of bunk beds and a double bed, and I had it all to myself! I really needed to not worry about keeping someone up with my snoring when I am so exhausted. Another one of those things that comes with middle age adult onset. ARGH. Being tired and sleeping in strange beds usually means that I don't sleep too well.

The food was really good too! Part of this retreat is that we don't have to cook..they cook FOR us, and Boy did they cook! It was better than last year, either that or I was so hungry I didn't care :c)

If you look at the walls, you'll notice that not everyone was working on "Dear Jane"...it's more like Dear Jane & Friends. You can work on whatever you want to work on!

Irene had brought her finished Virginia Bound quilt top, LOVE those Joseph's Coat borders! Isn't it fabulous?

I also want to share with you the antiques I found in an antique mall in Opelika, AL. ONE of the quilts came home with me....I'd make you play a guessing game,but here it is! Look at the back..it says "Savoy "R" Fine Sea Island Sheeting"! Isn't that just too cool? The quilt had been folded for so long that some of the blue ink on that label crocked over into mirror image. The fabrics are crisp and clean, even the one flannel piece is still fuzzy. There is nothing in here that would put it to any specific date other than that printed piece of flannel, as the stripes and plaids are timeless. I'm checking with a friend of mine to see if she can help me date it.

I love the two brown borders and the two blue borders. And the binding? Well, one side is front to back, one side is back to front, one side is knife edge turned to the inside..just no rhyme or reason! It's as if the maker had 4 people binding at once just doing their own thing. Don't you just love it?! Look at those fans. The thread is heavy, as if they used the string from unraveling the seams on feedsacks to do the quilting with.

The other quilts were cool too, tho many too shredded to want to do more than take a pic of them:

antiquing through AL & GA 2008
You will see a pic of a "Gunnie Sack" dress in there too...I wore one just like this to my jr prom. *LOL* I had to take a picture....memory lane and all that, you know? Funny, but I don't consider anything YOUNGER than I am to be an "ANTIQUE"..do you?