Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Little Quilts In My Mailbox

I belong to the Carol Doak list on Yahoo and we are in the midst of a postcard swap. I love doing foundation piecing and have used Carol's method for a long time.  Our only requirement was to use one of Carol's designs.  Carol is a great teacher and if you have the chance to take a workshop from her, do it.  You will have a great time and learn a valuable quilt technique.  I have always wanted to do one of these swaps. 

I used Timtex to give the cards body and stitched a heavy satin stitch around the outside edge to finish it.  We were divided into groups of 4 and we each made 3 postcards and mail them out to the other 3 in our group.  Here are the 3 cards that I mailed out.

A little ray of sunshine.

Just had to make one with a patriotic theme and then added a little machine embroidery bling!

A little Iowa scene.....represents what is outside my window.

And of course you want the back to look as good as the front and I wanted a vintage feel to my card.  I used a Tim Holtz stamp set for the "postcard" and star design.  The lines were from a journaling stamp from Close To My Heart.

I got my first "little quilt" in my mailbox yesterday.....how fun...... a sweet little butterfly.  Who wouldn't want one of these pieces of pure joy when you pop open that mailbox?  I wonder when the next one will come and what will it be....... 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer in a Basket

What can you do with a worn out, old broken basket, a vintage mason jar, a chipping sparrow's nest?

I hope this arrangement will make you smile, as it does me.  It reminds me of those things that make summer great.

I used some leftover silks that I already had....filling the basket with flower oasis and tucking in some moss to cover it and make it look natural.  I used some taller stems in the back.....but you could do whatever you wished....and it might depend some on the shape of your basket. 

The "Silver Fox" and I live on the top of a hill out in the country, so when we have wind, which is quite often.  I find nests that have blown out of the trees.  So I have a nice collection of nests.  It was fun to tuck this sweet little one into the corner.

On one corner of the basket, the splints were broken out, so I added some moss and a couple flowers "growing out."

This photo is taken looking down from the top.....so you can see the mason jar tucked in the basket with a butterfly glued to a stick inside. 

This certainly brings back childhood memories of collecting fuzzy caterpillars in glass jars, that I had poked holes in the lid.  Then I graduated to a bug keeper that we bought at the local dime store.  I thought that thing was the cat's meow!!!

I hope this inspires you to collect a few of your flower blooms and some natural elements..... put them together in a old container.....and enjoy!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Whip Up

For someone who is so new to this blog thing, I am amazed by the statistics and the scope of where you all live.  It really is mind-blowing to me, that I would write something of my daily life and you are interested in it.  Thank you for spending some of you day with me and I hope that I make it worth your while to visit.  I love it when you write me and I always reply!!!
I am so excited!!!  A blog newsletter I have subscribed to since I knew what blogs were..... has linked to one of my postings on repurposing.  Kathreen sends out a marvelous newletter each week, with some of her favorite finds and ideas.  I could spend hours puruesing all the eye candy, inspiration and ideas.  I hope you check it out.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Doesn't he look warm and cozy in his hand knitted snowsuit?....I am sure made by his mother.  My dad was born on his mother's birthday on a terribly cold..... winter day, during a snowstorm...such a happy guy and he still is.  He is kept busy fixing things and making furniture and repurposing furniture for our entire family.  He and mom, pop in and out during the week, out here on the farm and it is always a joy to have them stop by.  Thanks, dad for everything!!!  I love you.

I am still keeping up with making a felt puzzle every month for the grand kids.  June's has a Father's Day theme to it.  The puzzle has all these sports themes to it, which really is not my dad.....although he does enjoy watching the Cubs and the Vikings. 
His "fun" of choice would be fishing or working in his wood shop and being around his family.

Here is the cute pocket all ready for all the puzzle pieces.

Here is the puzzle page....with the puzzle all put together.  I must say the grand kids look for these as soon as they hit the door and are so excited when it is different.  :)  I hook the two pages together with a binder ring decorated with various colors of ribbon.

Here is the link for you, if you are interested in purchasing these puzzles designs.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tis the Patriotic Season

I have been collecting Americana for a very long time.....
 long before it was popular or collectible.
It is probably my favorite season to decorate.....maybe because it is during the warmer months of the year or because I LOVE red and blue or because I enjoy the history of our country, 
 or all of the above.

Well my goal is to always have my patriotic decorations up before Memorial Day....so we can enjoy it all for not only that weekend, but Flag Day and July 4.....but this year I didn't get quite that far.  I did get my tree done...only to have one of the strings of lights burn out on me.  UGGG!!!

I don't have a window above my sink....but I do have a mirror and two lighted glass shelves and I usually place some of my favorite pieces there to enjoy while  I work in the kitchen.

I still love this piece of Rowe pottery from Wisconsin that I bought many years ago.....it is filled with vintage kitchen tools from my grandmothers laid on a vintage crocheted  red, white and blue potholder.  The patriotic angel was made by one of my quilt friends and the little sailor is a fun Hallmark card, setting on a patriotic doily made by Grandma K.  I am not sure Hallmark makes those kinds of cards any more.  At least the last time I looked, which wasn't recently.....they had nothing like this.

This little still-life includes a sweet framed print, Longaberger flag basket and an old "American" scale loaded with dish towels ready to use.

This shelf includes a metal ice bucket from a thrift store, and a wonderful paper honeycomb decoration of George Washington.  I got a set of these from a special life-long friend.

Another Hallmark card surrounded by a vintage food chopper and a wooded flag bowl.

Hope you enjoyed these little vignettes above my kitchen sink.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Counties of Iowa & Hazel

I was recently reminded through a couple conversations with a cousin on Facebook about a neat poem that named all the counties in Iowa.

I used to do a 4th of July party every year and invited any and all family and friends and my great uncle and aunt would come.  She had a huge raspberry patch and she would make me a fresh raspberry pie and bring it to share at the potluck....BUT she would always tell me...."You know if you put this in the refrigerator and forget about it, I won't mention there is a pie and you can have the whole thing for later."  So guess what I did every single year.  :)

My husband always had a patriotic game for us to play and one year to all our amazement, Hazel recited this poem that she had learned at country school of all the counties in Iowa.  It was unbelievable.  I had never heard of it before.

So after talking to my cousin about the poem, I was able to find it online.  Then I used the poem and included it as a part of a digital scrapbook page for my family members.  I took mine after printing it out and included a special Iowa paper, ephemera, a couple family pictures and journaling to tell the story.  I love the way it turned out.

I included the link for those who would like their own copy of this special poem.  A little piece of Iowa history.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

T-Shirt Makeover

I recently took a t-shirt that I liked, but was way too big and remade it to fit better.  It was a simple project and thought you might be interested in the process.

I initially used one of my fav long sleeve t-shirt and laid it out on my cutting table, Then put a piece of pattern paper on top and traced the shapes....sleeve, back, front and then added 1/4" seam allowances.  You could add 1/2" seam allowance if you would prefer.

I folded the sleeve pattern in half and laid it on my shirt and cut it out.  I also saved the hems on the sleeves....I didn't bother to open them up.

I did take a few minutes and a seam ripper and took off the neck ribbing, mainly because I wanted to keep the width of the ribbing, so I could reattach it later.

Lay the front pattern on the front of the t-shirt after cutting the shirt up one of the side seams so you can lay the shirt out flat to work on it. And cut the front out.

Then repeat for the back of the shirt...laying the pattern out and cutting around it.

I next stitched up one shoulder seam using 1/4" and then added the neck ribbing back on stretching it slightly as I stitched.  Then stitch the other shoulder seam....stitching through the ribbing too.  Press the seam allowance away from the ribbing.  Top stitch on the right side through the ribbing with a larger stitch length.

Find the center of the sleeve and the center of the sleeve opening and match those points and stitch the seam.  Press the sleeve seam toward the sleeve.

Then stitch both side seams and under arm seams all at one time.  Notice I was too lazy to take out the hem of the shirt....I left that in as well and just stitched through it and back tacked to secure the seam.

Turn right side out and it is done and fits me wonderfully!!!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Grandma's Iris

One of the joys of my little piece of earth here in Iowa during the late weeks in May and early June depending on the weather is my iris beds.  They all came from my Grandma K., who prized these lovelies each year.  I usually clean my iris beds in the spring and put "preen" down and that pretty well keeps the weeding to a minimum for the rest of the season.  Since I am really a lazy and fair weather gardener that is my idea of weeding. 

During Grandpa & Grandma's mobile years they would travel to various garden nurseries adding to her hybrid collection.  These flowers are impressive, massive and fragrant.  I love to cut large quantities and bring them into the house.  The sad part is they don't last long.  :)  But they are stunning while they last.....like a lot of simple things in life, you better enjoy while you have the opportunity!!!!