Monday, June 28, 2010

Our Trip to Denver

Denver, Pennsylvania, that is! Daughter and I were on a fabric expedition last Saturday. And though we didn't find everything we were looking for in the quilt stores, there were unexpected treasures to be discovered....

As I was driving, a long row of old iron gates caught my eye, and I had to bring the car to a screeching halt! We pulled in and found piles of old gates leaning against the front of a salvage store. I don't know about you, but I love the twists and curves and rosettes and rust and peeling paint, they are just so charming.

I hope these photos haven't bored you- I just find them so interesting. Inspiration can come from anywhere. A scroll here, a flower there, the color of a chipped rusty piece of old metal....

So then we walked INTO the store and our jaws about hit the floor...........
(stay tuned for next post!)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Oh No! The Power's Out (again....)

Ahhh the joys of living in the country... when the power goes out, we are at the bottom of the repair list. It's been out for about 21 hours now. Actually, the crews were already out, working on fixing the downed power lines on our street after some brief but wild storms yesterday afternoon. But as luck would have it, the transformer next to our house, which feeds only our house, had blown out (maybe that's what that big CRACK was I heard yesterday when the power went out!) and they did not have a replacement. So who knows when it will be back at our house (I think everyone else on our street is back on). Last night we had dinner at Wendy's, granola bars and bottled water for breakfast, and right now daughter and I are sitting at the coffee shop enjoying lunch- yummy roast beef pannini:
Gourmet grilled cheese (daughter was very hungry and decided to dive right in before I could get a proper photo):
and free wifi (quite a bit faster than we have at home.)

One of the problems with having the power out is that not only can we not run appliances or turn on the lights, but we have an electric water pump, which means no showers and toilet flushing only when absolutely necessary. In the morning to wash my face, I use the lighter to manually light the gas range and heat just a little bit of water in a saucepan. Can't wash my hair. I imagine what life was like on the Prairie or England circa Jane Austen- and honestly right now it seems much less romantic than it does in the movies. Oh, my (little teeny tiny) kingdom for a hot shower!!! It should make me appreciate having hot showers most days, but to be very honest, it really just makes me a little cranky (as hubby can attest to...)

So at least one can sketch and draw with no electricity, so this is a little peek at what I worked on this morning:
And a few days ago, when I actually did have power, I worked on some sample blocks for some quilts I am designing for my fabric line, Sewing Room Social. I won't have fabric till late September or early October, so for now I am working out some of the designs with fabric from my stash, just to make sure they come out right.
This fabric is from Northcott's Love Me, Love Me Not collection, which I did a design for (and was actually featured in their ad in Fons & Porter.) I had some fabric leftover, and I think they look pretty cute.

I will sign off now. I am stinky and greasy, yes I am. Can't wait for a shower.
Hope you have a weekend of fabulously long hot showers. I will be thinking of you....

Monday, June 21, 2010

Another Old Friend

This is another antique quilt that was on display at Winterthur Museum a few years ago, although I don't think I've ever shared it here.Unfortunately I don't have information about where it came from or who might have made it. I love the colors, the deep red and the aged mottling in the background. It is a wonderful example of applique and embroidery. I would love to have this in my family room- it would go beautifully with my red plaid sofa!
Looking at these old quilts, I wonder about the ladies who made them. I think about their hands, making stitches by candle light in the evenings, or perhaps during a few stolen moments during the afternoon, deftly working across the fabric. I wonder what their names were. Were they yet married? Did they have children? Did they make it for a special occasion? What kind of lives did they lead- what kind of life experiences had they had? Did they ever imagine that their work would end up in a museum? It is fun to make up stories in my head about them. I wonder what kinds of conversations we'd have if I could meet them- would we have a lot in common, besides our love of stitching? Maybe we would exchange funny stories about our children, or the occasional frustrations and challenges of motherhood, or perhaps the sometimes bittersweet details of everyday life. Would I call any of these ladies "friend".... yes, I am quite sure I would.

Friday, June 18, 2010

My Girls

There is stuff going on with a couple of my girls. First of all, eldest daughter flew off to England Tuesday night. ALL. BY. HER. SELF. Without ME. What nerve!! She will spend a semester studying at Oxford, something she has wanted to do for a long time. She is a Secondary Education major, and she will be taking a couple of literature courses. She will also get to see a production of Romeo & Juliet performed on a castle courtyard, among other outings. I think she is going to have the time of her life! Of course, we miss her already. Fortunately, my husband has an aunt and a cousin who live there, just an hour from Oxford, so they will be able to keep an eye on her, which makes me feel better.

Furry daughter (aka Daisy dog) is feeling under the weather. She had surgery on Wednesday for the removal of bladder stones. Xrays revealed that she had 3 of them, and they had to go. The vet sent one home with me, and I couldn't believe the size of it- and it was the small one. I'm not sure what to do with the stone she sent home with me- maybe Daisy should put it under her pillow so she can get a buck from the Bladder Stone Fairy?? (distant "black sheep" relative of the Tooth Fairy, I guess.) She is feeling pretty miserable. Some of you may remember she had a platelet disorder back in the fall and almost died. So it has been a rough year for her. She is 10 1/2- I am starting to wish they had Medicare for dogs. Because the vet bills are killing me.
She likes to put herself in her kennel for a little retreat.

Youngest daughter spent the day yesterday making an apron of her own design- such a talented little cookie (she looks a little angry in the photo- I think it's just her seriously-mom-can-we-get-this-over-with face). This morning she left for Pittsburgh for a practice meet for her Bible Quiz Team and will return tomorrow night. Yep, the nest is empty more and more these days. Hubby and I will go to a graduation party tomorrow. Tonight we will stay home, rent a movie, and babysit the ailing dog. Romance, people, this is real romance. Certainly real life. And you know, it's all good.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Re-visiting Old Friends

I wanted to share some photos of some antique quilts which were on display at Winterthur Museum about 3 years ago. I've shared these here on my blog before, but I wanted to show them again because I think they deserve an encore.
I like this one because of its simplicity, and it only uses 2 fabrics. I don't think I've ever made a quilt with less than 5 different fabrics. I also like the individual motifs, which are timeless.
This one was so intricate, I could just spend hours studying it- thousands of little 1 or 2" patches, all handstitched together. The colors in this old quilt are back in popularity again- brown, blue, light red.
I hope you've enjoyed looking at these magnificent quilts again as much as I have.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Delightful Dining

I love dishes and bowls of every of color, size and shape. So imagine how happy I was to find piles of them at Anthropologie in really yummy colors (I got mine at the store, but they also have a website- but I think the colors available in the store are prettier than the ones on the website). I had to get one in each color, and each size. I love them, we are using them in place of our everyday dishes for cereal, ice cream, small serving bowls. The little ones are perfect prep bowls for cooking. They seem to make everyday more lively and fun. Every morning, I open the cabinet and deliberate which color I should use for my breakfast cereal- the kiwi green? melon? robin's egg blue? sunny yellow? A colorful way to start my day....
(Thanks to daughter for taking the art-sy photos.)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Too Cute!

What do you do when life seems a little hum-drum and you feel like you have nothing interesting to write a blog post about- You put up a photo that is so beyond cute that your readers will forgive you!
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you- baby porcupines!!!

Daughter found this somewhere but I don't know where, sorry I don't have a link for it. But aren't they cute, and will you please forgive me for not putting up an original and extremely creative post?

Monday, June 7, 2010

First Formal

It's that time of year- Hair stylists are up to their elbows in up-do's and manicurists are working the files and pumice stones like nobody's business. (BTW I don't know how manicurists can spend 8 hours a day in the nail salon with that smell- after a few minutes I feel like the chemicals in there have fried half my brain cells. And I really don't have that many to spare.) 

Youngest daughter got invited to her first formal. Here she is with her "date," a very nice young man from our church. (I have to put "date" in quotes because I'm just not ready for her to go on a real Date just yet....)
The weather was very warm, but no thunderstorms as were threatened. Oldest daughter was out of town visiting friends, so hubby and I went out for a nice dinner. I told him that pretty soon, we would be empty-nesters with a lot of free time on our hands. I feel I need to break into "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler on the Roof.... how is it that the older they get, the faster time seems to fly?

Here she is in her very first really fancy dress. She was the flower girl in my brother's wedding when she was 5. My sister in law even made her fairy wings to match the bridesmaids dresses. Sunrise, sunset.... sniff, sniff.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I Want This....

BTW my birthday is just a few short months away (August 16), so if anyone needs a gift idea.... hint hint. I just don't know how practical it would be- how much fabric do you think I could fit in there??
If you could decorate anything with patchwork, what would it be- your cat? your husband?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Being Dragged Kicking & Screaming into the 21st Century.....

Having oldest daughter home from college has been great-she fills orders, does inventory, has unpacked all of the boxes from Market- and she is pulling, pushing and cajoling me into the 21st century. She has got me Tweeting (after pal Lynnette Anderson told me that I really should) and even made me a Noble Wife Facebook Fan page. (Now let me tell you- I am a Facebook drop out- I have a page but I hardly ever go on there. And when she told me that she was going to set up a Fan page- well that was pretty scary- because what if no one wants to be a fan?? So feel free to hop over and sign up to follow me on Twitter or become a Facebook Fan, if you want to massage my ego a little bit. It is funny how she loves to promote me, but I just cringe at the thought of promoting myself. It is something I really have to work on.)

This conversation about new technology, and my reticence towards it, has gotten my husband and I talking about the technology that was brand new and fantastical when we were teens. I remember our first microwave, it came with a little cookbook which told you how to "plump" dried fruit and then make a snack mix with it. It wasn't very good, but I kept making it because I wanted to use the microwave. I remember my brother making a lot of scrambled eggs in the microwave. And mom had to go out and buy "microwave bowls". Hubby has similar memories of when his family first got their microwave- even though they hardly ever ate bacon before, they started having bacon with everything, because, you know, they could. (He also remembers the days before remote control for the TV- he would lay on the floor and use his toes to change the channel. I know- it's quite a talent, probably part of the reason that I married him.)
My dad told me that when he was a little boy, they got their milk from his Uncle George's farm. Then one day his mom brought home a bottle of milk- and he cried, because he wanted HIS milk from a cow, not a bottle!

So now you can follow me on Twitter and Facebook. If you don't know how, I suggest asking the nearest teenager, they will probably be happy to help.

What was the latest greatest gadget when you were growing up? How did it change your life? And did your mom and dad think it was "just a fad"???


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