Thursday, June 24, 2010


One thing down, fifty bajillion yet to do.

Next Wednesday, I'm having a group of friends over for lunch to celebrate a birthday. We do this several times a year, switching off places where we lunch. Our birthdays fall quite conveniently: two in January, two in March, one in July--or is that June? I can't remember--and two in August.

Josie's the newest addition to our group--she's the June-July birthday. As she's from New Zealand, I decided to make her a tea cozy. The first incarnation showed up in this post. I wasn't pleased with how it turned out, and a friend, Mary Keenan of Procrastination Diary, suggested a design, to which I made my own changes. Thanks, Maire!

Here's how it looked last Saturday.

And how it looks now.
I made it adjustable since I have no idea what size Josie's teapot is. This last pic was taken on my 4-potter.

So that's the handmade part of my gift completed--except for bag and the card. But I have a list a mile long of things to be done before Wednesday.

(If you see sump'n speeding past you on the freeway, just wave. It's prob'ly me.)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday Putzing

I recently mentioned I was making a tea cozy for a gift. Well, I finished it up today and am now wondering if I went too far. Sometimes it seems as if I don't recognize "enough" on my way to the finish line. I'd love some input as to whether I've overdone this. Please, pretty please!
It's not sitting on a teapot so it looks a little distorted--that'll change on a real teapot. The main thing I'm wondering about is the embellishment. The way I have the two flowers situated you can hardly tell the bird's a bird. I feel that the red one is overkill, but one flower seemed not enough. Is it merely the placement that's out of whack? I thought about doing this kind of a flower, even bought some pink gingham to do so. Should I go in that direction?  (I still have a couple of weeks before I need the gift.)
BTW, you can check out the tutorial for this lovely quilt at IamOnlyOneWoman

Another thing I worked on today is this shadow box.
I picked up the vintage shadow box frame at a thrift store in Fredericksburg yesterday for half a buck. The paper I printed out from a free scrapbook paper site, and the buttons, well, they're from my stash. What do you think? Should I hang it on my wall, or go with this one?
I put this together a while back to use in my office, then decided to list it in my Etsy shop instead. But it's something I can always pull out--and I've been wavering about that. Guess I'll just have to try them and see. 

Something else I picked up at the same thrift shop yesterday are these two framed needlework pieces.
At first I thought I'd use them as insets on pillows or tote bags, but they're beautifully done so I'm rethinking. I may offer them on Etsy, may hang them myself.

And that's my Saturday pretty well wasted. It's time to feed the cat, and I need to get some veggies ready to freeze--my neighbor gave us some wonderful things from her garden.

So, later, guys. Keep on keepin' on.

PS: I meant to show a pic of the tea cozy with an adjusted size. Since I have no idea what size pot my friend has, I thought I'd do an adjustable cozy. Here's a pic of how it looks smaller.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Is a fave day for me. While my cleaning lady cleans, the Hub and I retire to my studio. I have a nice little sitting area for him and a television, and as he watches the Today show, I putz. (Today, I made a big dent in cleaning up my craft table. Yay, me!) Once Maria's gone and while the Hub plays poker with some of the neighbors, I have a whole, clean house to myself!

Today, I put up newspaper blanks for some pictures I'll be hanging after I pick up the proper hanging paraphernalia. And I finished a handbag I've been working on for quite some time.
 And I cut out a tea cozy for a gift.
I ordered this from Goodwill online as part of the gift. It's a vintage Merit China Occupied Japan teacup and saucer set. Pretty cool, innit?

I did a bit of rearranging in my guest bath, substituting this:
 for this:
 (I know it's crooked. I stuck it back on so I could show it here.)

And laying this on the floor in front of the sink:
The light was pretty bad in there, but how cool is that? Daisy made it for me a couple of years back with the express order to use it in my studio. Only recently has she allowed me to bring it into the house. It's wonderful underfoot! (Thanks, Daisy!)

Well, the Hub just got home. Have no idea if he won or lost but we picked up Chinese takeout yesterday so at least I don't have to cook this evening.

Ta, yall.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pillow, pillows, pillows

I love me some pillows. And I've made a few in my time.
This one I did for my sis Ginger for her b'day in March. I used a vintage antimacassar and some lovely linen from Dharma Trading. (Many of these I've shown before. Bear with me, please.)
And this I have in my Etsy shop here. It's made of a vintage tea towel. It's one of my faves.
This is also offered in one of my shops. Here I took a vintage tea towel with some purty big holes in it and cut it up to use with a remnant chenille fabric I found for a song in a lovely store in Austin.

Another vintage tea towel turned into a pillow, this on the bed in my guest room. I made the one on the right as well a lo-ong time ago, using a vintage needlepoint I picked up at an antique store and a remnant of fringe. Cheap those, but then I had an 8" down pillow form made for it. I mean, who can tell if a pillow that small is down? It's not exactly sink-into-able. Silly, silly used-to-be me!
This I made not too long ago for my hair stylist. It's a design I intend to re-use. (I fixed that right corner but didn't take another shot. Sorry.)
This I didn't actually make, just sorta redid. I picked it up for four bucks in an antique store in Port Townsend, Washington. Its filling was all flattened and as trim it had this yucky hand-made cording--I know handmade's cool, but not this stuff. I loved the look of the old worn velvet on the back so I pulled off the trim, restuffed it--polyfil this time, not down, which most of mine are. As trim I used a couple of handmade buttons I also picked up in Port Townsend, though on a different trip.
I love this one! I made it from a sampler I stitched ages ago, using a design borrowed from a $125 pillow and vintage fabric I salvaged from an old table runner picked up in a thrift store.

And the point of all this?
This pillow I just made for the bedroom my sis Billie is decorating in her new apartment. (Yes, I know it needs pressing. I will do before I send it to her.) The lamp I showed here has sent her in a new direction--blue--so I used a tea towel I picked up at Dollar Tree when we were all in Fredericksburg. Few tea towels are big enough to make a decent square pillow so I embroidered some of the Dharma Trading linen to stretch it.

So, that's my show and tell for this lovely Saturday. The hub should be waking soon, and I haven't had breakfast so I'd best get moving.


I'm linking this post to Fabric Fun Thursday at Cheap Chic Home. Check her out!


And to Strut Your Stuff Thursday at Somewhat Simple.

Check 'em out.

Ta, y'all.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sisters and Winged Pigs

Omigosh! It's been almost a month since I last posted.  I've had a very laissez-faire attitude to much in my life lately. And no, I don't mean the economic kind of laissez-faire, but the 'nother kind, where I've allowed myself a deliberate abstention from doing certain things. (Am I taking too broad a poetic license on the phrase?)

Daisy, though, has done a great post on our weekend. You can check that out here. She also took some terrific photos; me, not so much.
This is the bed and breakfast where we stayed. It was wonderfully situated a block from Main Street.
The entrance to the courtyard on the side of the house. We spent a lovely Sunday morning in our jammies out here with our coffee.
This bedroom I shared with Billie and Daisy. Jeanie, our eldest, stayed in a BR by herself since her biological clock is on different rhythm than ours. And Ginger and Alice were in the BR on the third floor, bless their hearts.

I doubt any of you can understand how wonderful my sisters are, how truly extraordinary. I use that word purposefully because on our way back from the weekend, Ginger and I in one car since we both live down here and the rest in li'l Alice's car as they all live in north Texas, Ginger was talking about how extraordinary she found the sisters and how ordinary she believed she was. I was astounded. Reminds me of Burns: O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us! (O would some Power the gift to give us To see ourselves as others see us!) And yes, I realize he was speaking of a socially pretentious woman, but I maintain the reasoning stands. It's as easy to overlook your own wonder as it is to magnify it.

To prove my point: as homework, we were all supposed to write about how we missed our mother. (I say supposed to because I didn't. I find that difficult to do. Sorry, Alice.) Ginger did a bang-up job, as did the rest of my sisters. She, though, prefaced hers by claiming not to be a writer. I disagree. 

The Mama Poem 
This poem today is for our Mom,
No doubt, there is no other
Who'd love us all and do without.
You bet, that was our mother!

I miss her little twinkle toes
A dancin' she would go.
She'd cut a rug 
And break the hearts
Of men on every row.

She'd laugh and sing
Before the dawn
And wake our asses up.
On summer morns
We'd grump and groan.
She just ignored our guff.

Porch lights would "flick"
When boys were there,
The signal to come in.
God bless her soul.
She did her best
To help us not to sin.

She'd fight a bear
For one and all 
And never blink an eye.
'Member that fine day she did.
She made the neighbor cry.
Mom's name was known both far and wide
Within our neighborhood.
There was no doubt
There was a swath
Where Gracie Brown once stood.

She never said "I can't do that."
Went climbing on the roof.
She went to school and walked the stage
What more is needed proof?

She left us oh, so long ago.
She left us all alone.
But what she did that fateful day
Was make the sisters strong.

What was it that she gave to us
Upon the day she left?
Our hearts, they broke.
Our tears did flow.
She'd planned "The gift" herself.

It wasn't until later
We knew what she had done.
She made us better sisters
For now we're all for one.

The trials and tribulations
the woman did endure.
She's finally up in heaven
Safe and sound, secure.

Oh, Mom, she wasn't perfect. 
But Lordy, nor am I.
I know she's looking down on us.
She's waiting upon high.

I wish she could be with us.
To hear us laugh and sing.
That always made her happy
In sunshine and in rain.

I'd like to say before I go
To bed and nighty, night.
There is one thing I know for sure
She did do something right!

P.S. I am her sunshine, you know! 

How cool is that?

There are some inside jokes, some perhaps needing no explanation, others that do. In her sixties, Mama actually did repair her own roof and walked the stage for her AA degree--after dropping out of school in the eighth grade! And yes, she really got in a cat-fight with a neighbor over what she perceived as said neighbor's mistreatment of one of her children. The memory of that always embarrassed her--she truly was a gentle woman.

As to the last line in the poem, that comes from a card we found while clearing out Mama's things. It was from Ginger, and on the outside Mama had written, "You are my sunshine." According to Ginger, that proves she was Mama's favorite.

To Ginger, I say, "Get in line, lady girl. I've got seniority." Or, loosely translated, when pigs fly!