Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The sisters

I thought I'd better get on the stick if I was going to create anything for Halloween since it's now only two days away. I knew the minute I saw this old photo in an antiques shop in Illinois that I wanted to use it for something like this. There's something about their eyes, kind of vague and unfeeling looking. In truth, they were probably sweet little girls. I wonder what she has planned for those sissors though. Whoever they were, they were sure dressed cute.
You should be able to click to enlarge the photo.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sampler box

My show and tell for today is a box that I painted. I've worked on it for a week or so. I haven't painted in awhile and my poor hand is really cramped up now. Maybe I need to loosen my grip on the brush a bit, but I've always used teeny tiny brushes with just the sparsest amount of hairs so I can get better detail. I plan to use it as storage for whatever my current stitching project might be. I like having everything gathered together and handy. I can keep my threads, scissors, etc., in there and just put a lid on it when I'm done. I always have work in progress and it's usually on the sofa or on my chair. I think I can have it sitting on the coffee table, and it won't look too out of place. Since I mostly stitch samplers, that was my inspiration for the design. These are a few of my favorite motifs. Some of you may or not know that my other blog is where you'll find my stitching.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Here's the reason

that I've been such a bad blogger of late. We have been busy re-doing our patio. I have waited a long time for the expanded cover. The little dinky one that it replaced was big enough to keep one person out of the sun, okay, maybe I exaggerate...two people at most then. So when I wasn't helping my DH with the manual labor, I was busy sipping a glass of wine and supervising the progress. We are still far from done. Plans include a brick wall around the entire patio with seating around the fireplace, a new finish for the cement, (I like the look of stained concrete), and eventually the Arcadia door will be replaced with french doors. Finding the black wicker furniture was my project. I had the rocker and I wanted the new stuff to match. Lots of Internet searching proved successful. It came all the way from Pennsylvania and it was worth the wait. I made the floral pillows and quilt throw out of some fabric that I've had stashed forever. And yes, those screens sure need a good cleaning.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Going home...

Who says you can never go home again? Maybe not to live there, but you can drive by anyway. This is the house I grew up in in Illinois. Much has changed since I lived there over thirty four years ago. The trees are bigger for one thing. I was sad to see that the willow and cherry trees had been cut down in the backyard. I can remember picking cherries for a pie and eating most of them before I even got inside. There is now a deck and pool where that tree once stood. Our house was a similar shade of blue, but the window box (I can't think of what they're called) is new. We also had a gas light in the front. I spent millions of hours doing gymnastics in that front yard.

Above is the street where my friend, Missi lived. It was two blocks over from my house. Everyone hung out here. We rode our Schwinn sting-ray bikes up and down and played "ding dong ditch" on that street. I love how the trees have grown so they form a canopy. Below is Missi's house. Nothing has changed at all. I slept over at least a couple of nights a week, so it was practically my second home. We spent hours sitting on the shag carpet of her bedroom making "Fun Flowers". There was this liquid goop that you poured into molds. You then heated it up in an oven of sorts. It was made by Mattel, and there was also a "Creepy Crawler" version. It's amazing that we didn't burn the house down.

Now here is a place that I will never forget, Katy's Market. It was at the end of Missi's street. It was owned by an elderly German couple. The store was cluttered and crowded and reeked of sauerkraut and homemade sausage. It was actually kind of scary. The owners didn't like kids much. I think we were all afraid we would end up in one of those meat grinders that they used for their sausages. We went in after school anyway, because they had the best assortment of candy. You just chose fast and got the heck out of there.

Thanks for coming along on my trip down memory lane.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


As promised, here are my three favorite finds from the trip last weekend to Illinois. I found the box of much used stamps and the old charm bracelet in the same antique shop. I was so happy to find both and was even the subject of a little teasing. It seems that I expressed my happiness with the expression "OMG" excessively. What else can one say when finding such treasures? I really don't need any more stamps, but I liked the case, and the fact that they are all grungy with ink.

I have loved charm bracelets ever since I was a young girl. I like to find souvenir charms of places that I've travelled to. I have one completely full and another one started. The bracelet I found is significant to me for many reasons. It is filled with mostly charms of Illinois and that is where Iwas born and raised. There's one of Abe Lincoln, Chicago Water Tower, Picasso sculpture, and Gov. Otto Kerner's Inauguration Day, Jan. 11, 1965. My favorite is the "Fighting Illini", mascot of the University of IL. Some of the others that I like are: St. Louis Arch ( I've been up in that scary thing, and I lost the charm that I bought there years ago), a bulldog (enough said), a camper (my husband and I plan to drive off into the sunset in one someday), an Amish buggy, a St. Christopher medallion, a bear from Yellowstone ( I love national parks), an Iowa one that moves and has an ear of corn attached ( my husband is from IA). There are even three charms from Arizona. The charms appear to have been collected in the mid 1960's.

Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness is a wonderful piece painted by artist, Barbara Jeffords. She was at the Country Folk Art Show we attended. I love meeting the artists and talking to them about their work. She was very nice and humble about her talent. I could have brought several of her pieces home, but this one especially caught my eye.