Friday, July 27, 2012

Birthday Quilt in "Royal Colors"

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My friend "L" is having a birthday, so...

I asked her husband what was her favorite color.
He suddenly had that "deer in the headlight" look. He absently looked off, and then he said, oh, she likes them all.
So, I pressed him a little - does she like pastels, or strong colors, is she partial to one if you think about it? "Hmm", he said as he glanced over to her, "Oh, she likes purple, yeah, purple". When I looked across the room where his wife was visiting, I couldn't help but notice that she was wearing a purple top, so- Maybe she will like this lap quilt I am making for her, and maybe not.
I get the feeling that if she had worn red that night, that would have been her favorite color.

It made me wonder what would my husband say if someone asked him about my favorite color.

She suffers from MS, but you never, ever hear her complain about being chilly, or how her bones ache. I hope this little quilt will be just comfy enough to ward off the floor chills or she can take it with her in the car for a quick throw over her legs type of thing. Or, perhaps she will wrap her favorite little dog in it so they can snuggle together, whatever makes her happy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sprucing Up An Old Friend

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Have you ever 'saved' something and then realized it was too late to use?

Well, a long, long time ago, when I was a child, yes, boys and girls, I was once a child.
I was given a doll. It had a wardrobe, a bed, a little nightstand and a chest for the end of the bed. I think the original gift had a chair also, but I don't have it now. This is what I think would be called "vintage".
It still has the original dress, although the shoes are long gone.

Well, when my children were small, I got it out for the girls to play with.
I thought they were too 'rough' with it, though, after all, it was mine when I was a child. I guess I still claimed ownership, even though I was way too old to use it again.

When I discovered that one of the boys had performed orthopedic surgery on one of the girl's dolls. (he cut off the toes - I think to see if it would bleed - at least he didn't operate on one of the girls...)
Anyway, I put my doll up in the cupboard, away from destructive hands...

Well, the other day I discovered it again. My girls are too old (all in their 30's, almost a 40 year old)
The grandchildren that are girls, well, most are approaching their teens, running full steam ahead and the only one left to play with the set will be 8 soon.

Where, oh where, did all the time go?

So, I decided that this doll was doing no good to me. I don't even have the grandchildren over to play with the doll. So,the youngest grand -girl would get it.
(my name sake)

It has seen a lot of wear and tear through the years.

I made a small quilt to go on the bed, and a nightgown for the doll, a little pillow and mattress, and I plan on sending it soon to Texas. 

You can see the size of the quilt by the coffee mug next to it.

I don't want to wait any longer, this grandchild may be getting married before I realize that the time has flown by. Sorry to the other grand - girls. You will just have to play with the doll when you visit "M".

Linking up to

JAQS Studio - Made By Me # 41
Quilt Story: Fabric Tuesday
Shabby Creek Cottage Transformation Thursday
French Country Cottage -Feathered Nest Friday
The Vintage Farmhouse Creative Things Thursday

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer Time Is Apple Time

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Over 30 years ago we purchased this 2.5 acre plot to build on.
(please pardon the compost heap on the right)

My husband was raised on an acre and we thought the idea of having a little space around us as we raised the children to be a dream.
He had milked cows and fed chickens as a child and he wanted that 'opportunity' for the kids.
I had warily watched a cow being milked, ate goat's cheese with a face, and our house was a stone's throw from a freeway exit, literally.

Well, to get on to it.
We thought our dream was to have fruit trees on this  land.

Before there were forms for the foundation of the house we planted...
Two Cherry trees
Two Plum trees
Two Peach trees
Two Pear trees
Two Apple trees
And other trees like cedar, (it far exceeded our expectations as you can see in the first picture) pine, and birch. We like trees...
And vines and shrubs, well you get the picture.

Picture me, 5 months pregnant with our fifth (oops!) child hauling water in buckets (2 per tree) from an irrigation ditch from the property next door. Hey, I was strong, I was willing, I was not overburdened.

Well, to make a long story short.
The fruit trees died one by one. I don't think it was the water hauler, it was just that they didn't like the ground where they were planted. With a high water table, most of the trees didn't like their 'feet wet'.
But, the apple trees flourished!
So, we planted more apple trees, after all, you can't have too many apples, right?
And, the little trees were not even giving off any fruit yet...

A small 'orchard' came to be... and each tree was someone's responsibility, especially when it came to picking up the fallen fruit.

The kids had the summertime (I don't know why our tree always started dropping apples early), anyway, the kids picked up apples and ran them through the juicer. They set up a station outdoors and they looked like they were having fun. I remember one occasion that they brought in some juice for me to try with a smirk on all five faces... after tasting and declaring it delicious they then told me that they ran the whole apple through, worms and all!
Lots of applesauce and apple butter came through my kitchen. Desserts were apple pie. Each girl (four by this time) had to make an apple pie that met their father's approval. If it needed more sugar next time, then they could make another one, we had plenty of apples.

On some years we invited friends over for a apple night. I supplied peelers, (I scoured yard sales and had maybe five at a time), zip lock bags, sugar and cinnamon. The peeled and sliced apples were readied for apple pies to come with the addition of sugar, spice and everything nice. The bags went home to go into freezers or to be forgotten - at least I had done my part.

Now, it is just two older (ahem) people living here with lots of fruit. and a visiting deer from time to time.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Jewelry Bouquet Finally Finished!

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I have been working on this project for what seems like forever!
It has been strewn all over a desk in the corner of the kitchen. It is a good thing that we don't have a large family that would have to work around it.  I would work on it, then stand back and wonder where I was going with it from here.
I made a much smaller one a while back in silver tones with pearls and rhinestones. Then, I wanted to try out  gold tones with pearls and larger. Well, it takes a lot of jewelry and I was looking for mainly vintage stuff for both of them.
They are so different in size
I guess I am happy with the results. It is either a hate or love relationship with this. Either it is way too gaudy or it is just what you are looking for.

I have seen these on etsy and the prices are incredible.
I added this locket at the bow sight. Sometimes brides want to remember someone special on their day that cannot attend the wedding. Perhaps a parent or grandparent or special friend. This way a picture is tucked into the locket and is part of the special day.
Another side view. I used not only brooches, but earrings that are vintage.
Here are some more of the silver toned one

I am so happy to finally "cross this off the list".

I have them sitting in a crystal vase to keep them upright and not crush the ribbons.
I think it is a pretty cool idea to be able to keep your bouquet for years.
I keep on admiring it...
Here's hoping someone else admires it and will buy it at one of my shows...

Joyfully joining the parties at:

Made By ME #40 Linky Party and Features

Shabby Creek Cottage Transformation Thursday #161

Wednesdays Adorned From Above Blog Hop

Feathered Nest Friday

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cutting Watermelon 101, A re-post

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With the warm weather here, there and everywhere, I have decided to repost this post (that sounds complicated) about watermelon.

I haven't always been a fan of watermelon. It was an acquired taste for me, but since it has almost no calories, it is becoming a satisfying cool summer treat.

My daughter, "B", showed me this trick to cutting up a watermelon. In the past, I would cut the rounds, cut those in half and then proceed to disembowl the watermelon. The way that "B" showed me is way simpler and I hope you find it that way also.

First, wash your melon. I haven't always done this in the past, but when I saw the signs posted at the store, and thought it over, it made perfect sense.

Cut your watermelon in half. Then cut it again in half. You now have a quarter of the melon to work with.
Wow! Those hands look old... ooops, they are old.

Take your knife and cut paralel cuts the length of the melon, like this

Turn it around and do the same on the other side. You can make your cuts any size you like. For a fancy fruit salad, you might want them smaller than what I have here.

Now, cut along the rind on both sides. Cut deeply so that the melon is released from the rind.

Now take your trusty little knife and cut down to make squares, Cut all the way to the rind.
At this point, I always have a sample of the product. We don't want to serve inferior melons...

Get your container ready. It can be a bowl, a plate, etc

Your melon will litteraly fall out of the rind into the container.

You may have to help some that didn't get cut all the way. If you are thrifty-like, you may want to clean up the inside of what's left of the rind.
You are now ready to give the rind to your favorite compost pile and  either sit down with your bowl of fruit, or cover it and enjoy it later. Either way, it is good...

Thanks "B"

Monday, July 9, 2012

Moss Landing, California Show

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This year, as we did last year, we will be selling at the 
Moss Landing Street Faire

An annual event that benefits the town (as us sellers...)

You can read more about last year's show here

It highlights last year's adventure.

Perhaps I'll see you there?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Feathered Nest Friday

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I joined the Feathered Nest Friday party over here

Be sure to visit and see what's happening around there.

French Country Cottage

There are so many wonderful ideas to view and 'copy' for our own nests.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Scents and Sounds Along the Way

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This is probably just a boring post to most, so be forewarned...It will probably remind you of this one.

As I was walking along my usual path, I was enjoying the scents of the air around me. If I was blindfolded, I could probably tell you where we were on the 2 mile walk that I have been taking for a long, long time.

As I cross the street near our house, I smell the oleander bushes that line the school yard. They remind me of when I was in school. They smell so sweet that I thought as a child that they must taste as sweet also - like the honeysuckle vines -- not so, as after I tasted them, I spat for a while to get the nasty taste out of my mouth, then years later I found they were poisonous (must have used up one of my nine lives, huh?) Crazy kid anyway!

Because there is a stop sign right there, you always get the exhaust odors from the cars and trucks. Walking up the hill, I relive my childhood days of summer and the hot, spicy smell of oak trees. They really do have a memory smell for me. One year, all the oaks at my aunt's house dropped these little round balls (about the size of a pin head) They jumped. Really. We gathered them up by the handfulls. I still don't know what was in them (some kind of insect), but they lived for about a day in our little containers and then they stopped jumping. It kept us quite entertained... but to get back to the walk. This is an oak tree in our front pasture area, around 40 feet tall.
Ah, I remember the day Mr was cutting an offending branch off when it sprang back and knocked him out of the tree and also knocked the wind out of him. Ambulance ride to the hospital showed that he was not injured, only winded, thank you Lord.
Do you remember that often there were grapes planted along the cyclone fences of schools. Boy they tasted sour...
There was always a musty grape smell that drew me to them. Why did I taste so many things as a kid?

Then there is a nice home, little do they know that on this spot many years ago, was the neighborhood "haunted house"! I'm sure that it was all just stories - anyway, that house was used in a 'control burn' to teach new firefighters and the lot was repurposed to make a home for another family.

Moving along up the hill are the sweet, sweet odors of privet bushes grown tall, as tall as some trees. The fallen blossoms carpet the ground underneath. Also present are the honeysuckle vines.

Now I smell the fiberglass from the boat repair shop. This old building was probably a fruit packing shed in another life. The railroad runs directly behind it.

Around the corner and I hear the whistle from an approaching train. There are several crossings before mine, so I have plenty of time.

As soon I as cross, I see the nopales cactus that has been trimmed for many years, supplying this Spanish family with many a meal. Nopales is used in chili verde around here. Their chickens cluck and scratch as they free roam all the way out to the road.

The fire station is next. Not often, but sometimes we hear the alarm and see the trucks file out on their way to assist in fire fighting.

Ah, do you smell the mimosa tree? It is beautiful to look at, but I have had experience with the blossoms blowing all over and making a mess at one of my shows. No thanks, I will admire it from a distance.

It's not far to the "turn around" place, the local saloon. Here, stale cigarette smoke mingles with other unidentifying odors that I probably don't want to know about...

Now, the best part of the whole walk, the downhill stroll home. I feel like one of those toys we had as kids, you put it on a slanted board and it "walked" its way down. There is no effort, just enjoy the scents and sounds that you get to repeat along the way.

And, home is just around the corner.
Thanks for walking with me today.