Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Pleasure and a Project

Last weekend we went with our kids and Royce to the city's Pumpkin Festival. There is an old fire engine and a model railroad that takes kids and their families out to the pumpkin patch to get a pumpkin and a scarecrow contest as well as booths with food, face painting and information from different groups throughout the city. To say the least, it was very well attended and enjoyed by all.
We waited in line for about 45 minutes or so to get on the train. Royce just squeaked by on height to ride the train...by 1/2" (he even helped by standing on tip toe!).
We got to the pumpkin patch and he had the best time! He enjoyed the pumpkins and finally picked one he liked and played in the straw. For a 1 year old....it was a great time!

See that he is wearing socks only?? He literally just outgrew his shoes! They fit the week before....then not so much! He was amazing in the crowded line in the warm almost hot sun, he waved to the children around him and studied everything going on...some babies and children were whining....he just watched.
Then, we went to lunch....he conked out on the way....Grammy got to hold him so his Mom could eat...
According to his Dr....he is 18 month size and she was astounded by his vocabulary....when he speaks. Not just Mama and Dada for this kid....it's Doggie, Bad Doggie, Fan, Birthday, down, up, .....well you get the picture....(sorry proud Grammy)....
Anyway, we are so lucky because we get to see them at least 2 times a week if not more.
Last night, our daughter came with him for dinner, because her hubby worked late, and she likes company....
Royce loves our dogs and they love him, especially Belle. She wants to be like Nana in Peter Pan....
He literally climbs on her and crawls through her and uses her for a walker....she just beams...
There is even a picture my daughter has of him reading to her....cute! Yes, he opens a book and pretends to read!
Anyway......
yesterday I finished a project that I've never done before....fixed a clock!
I found this clock at Savers for $10, but it needed a new set of hands and mechanism...so I went to Michaels and got one with a 50% off coupon. Good thing, cause with my first try I broke the minute hand. So with another 50% coupon I got a new set with larger hands...and went online to get a tutorial...I did it!
Isn't it so cute??? It is for my daughter...I'm taking it to her today (couldn't' wait until Christmas!). We are recovering her dining chairs today with some fabric I was given.....(yes, I will try and take pictures).....
Have a great day.
Nancy

Friday, October 16, 2015

Orange Peel Quilt Begins

I was inspired a few weeks ago by a Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorial on an Orange Peel Quilt (also known as a football quilt). So, I began gathering the supplies.
You need 5" squares (charm pack) in a print  you like (for a large quilt you'd need 4 charm packs) and a solid in 5" squares (4 charm packs).
Since I am doing it to start for a baby quilt I am just using one charm pack, which I ordered weeks ago. While I was at it I also ordered the backing and a jelly roll to use as border or even binding.
Then I went looking for the interfacing. I made two mistakes in ordering since the tutorial only said one sided interfacing....so now I have quite a collection!
So, today, having finally found the interfacing, I began.
 Using this template I cut some pieces of fabric and some of the interfacing.....
This turning cutting board is awesome! It is perfect for those little jobs like this one...
And when you have followed the directions on the tutorial, you end up with this! Won't that be a darling quilt?? The possibilities are endless....It gives the look of "needle turned" without being hard or actually needle turned. (Which I have to say I don't enjoy...my hats off to those who do appliqué on a regular basis!)
 Here you can see the blanket stitch that I have chosen for the stitching on these pieces. You see, when you stitch the interfacing to the fabric (right side to right side) and then turn you get a neat clean little "orange peel" that then just irons onto the solid square. Isn't it cute??

So, I chose the blanket stitch, it takes getting used to when the machine is doing it, and patience as it goes forward and back while doing it and lining it up takes getting used to also....but all in all, not a bad beginning.
So, that is part of what I did today, besides laundry, and writing a list of the projects that are lined up in the craft room....
Hope you had a great day!
Nancy

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Preparing for the Holidays...

Well, does anyone else plan way before the need??
My husband still thinks I'm somewhat nuts....here it is October... and I have already planned the table setting and part of the menu and seating....for Thanksgiving.
Anyone else do this?? Or am I really the odd duck??
I believe we have 8 coming, well, 8 1/2 (little man doesn't eat too much and he doesn't get a place setting), so I have been figuring what china to use etc....
 So for play, I used a white napkin, to see if I liked the idea of a white tablecloth....
I tried other colors, but went with white...I'll probably use a contrasting runner in the center....
 I'm going with these napkins, the white ones were too much white and the other napkins I had were just the wrong color...
I have 8 large red wine goblets, which I think I'll use for water (has anyone noticed there are no water goblets on the market??) and the regular wine goblets for white wine.....
That's what I have so far.....
So, does anyone else do that?? Plan way early??
Have a great day.
Nancy

Monday, October 12, 2015

Snowman Days

Well, it's still hot. Yesterday, at our Grandson's First Birthday Party, it was 98 degrees....gratefully the park where it was held had a huge covered picnic area....so it was only about 90 in that shade.....
But, in hopes of feeling Fall, and feeling cool....I quilted a little table runner today. It was another piece that was created by someone...but they got rid of it...
They had done the applique, but didn't stitch over it...so I did the zig-zag around each applique piece. A couple of the lightbulbs didn't get black tops...I left those undone and just went with it.
I found in my stash some great green with little dots fabric....and leftover batting...and voila! A Table runner for a smaller table....or just a doily for a big one. I think its pretty cute....



Know what? I feel a bit cooler! Just thinking snow thoughts....(We don't get snow here....)
I hope you have a terrific day!!
Nancy

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A New Baby Quilt Top

It's almost 90 degrees here, on a Fall day, in Southern California. Not exactly a classic Fall.
Each early morning, we run our new Whole House Attic Fan in the morning to draw in all the cool air, then close up the windows to settle in to wait til the air outside is cool again, somewhere around 5-6. Sometimes it is as early as 4 or so, but usually it ends up feeling like holding your breath for several hours.
That's when I do more quilting. In the last week, I've finished two quilts, a receiving blanket and some baby washcloths. Not a bad turnout.
The quilt top I'm loving is a single Irish chain baby quilt top that will hang until I get a baby's name to embroider on it.
It is an unusual take on the single Irish chain as it uses many different colors. I saw this done on one of the Pinterest quilts I collect ideas from....It is a bit "hip" and bright and cheery.

The colors are from the Blooms & Bliss from Moda and the border is a jellyroll of the same. It creates quite a bit of fun....and I'm sure in the next few months you'll be seeing it finished....I love figuring what I'm going to do in the open spaces....
I hope you have a grand day. I know I am....it's Little Man's Birthday today and everyone (about 60) will be there!
Nancy

Friday, October 9, 2015

No Quilt Police Allowed

I came upon an unfinished quilt project at the thrift store. It was bagged and even had border strips cut and ready to go. It was a lovely piece that was lovingly put together. I don't know its story. But I do know that it wasn't perfect, not square...Is that why it was at the thrift store?
Well, no mind. I am not the quilt police....so, I bought it a few months ago to finish.
If you know me, that is my favorite part of quilting, is the actual quilting....where the three layers meet and become one.
As I worked with the quilt, I realized how imperfect it was...but I am determined. Poor quilt top, it deserved having been almost finished, to be finished!
So...I did!





All I did for this quilt was add the border strips that were already cut and in the bag...find some backing material in my stash, and create binding. I had batting already too.
I did stitch in the ditch for most of the quilt and then for the darling flower panels I free motion quilted around the flowers and created "pebbles" in two of the panels.
Add the binding....done..
Why would anyone stop? Well, any number of reasons....sometimes it's the "quilt police" in our own minds or a "friendly" helper who discouraged the quilter.
Every quilt that has been begun, perfect or imperfect is perfect in its own right. They are filled with love and time and devotion....no matter whether its square or not, or the seams line up just so.
Don't let anyone give advice that turns you away.
I know. I've been there. I went to a couple of quilting classes that had the quilt police out in full force. It is enough to make anyone stop.
I had a neighbor who was the best teacher. She always said, "there is no quilt police...."
I loved her dearly and she was such an inspiration.
In any case, no quilt gets done without its flaws...and not finishing is the biggest crime...
So don't let anyone discourage you in your quilting journey....
Nancy

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

C'est Fini!!

It's done!! I finished the china cabinet! And.....it is in my daughter's home! Yay!!
So, I have to say, that was hard. My back and knees are most unhappy with working in the garage...next time I do anything like this....it has to be raised up! Bending and stooping and kneeling is just too hard anymore.....
But, I got it done.
 I got these "crystal" knobs for the doors, instead of what was there originally....for a bit of "bling" and just plain fun...
 The base also got "crystal" knobs, just bigger, these came from TJMaxx...
And the handles, well, I tried to replace them, but being so old, they were an odd size, so I just painted them....even painted they are better.....
Waxing was a bit trying as the piece was so big and the weather was so damp....we actually got rain! So, after a night, it buffed up pretty well....
Then, we had to get it to my daughter. It had to be delivered in two trips...one on one day (the base) and then the next. Along with the delivery, went all the boxes in the garage (yay!). Wanna see it today??
 As you can see in the foreground there was a great deal of china collected over the years....
 Isn't it cute now?? Her boyfriend was aghast that I would paint over real wood...Let's face it. This was not an antique, and it wasn't pretty....Now it takes center stage in her dining room (I hope her room-mate likes it...)
 This picture shows you where I couldn't paint and will remind her what it used to look like....The glass doors were nicely put in and I couldn't figure out to take them out....no harm...I just shows what was there to start......
Do you like the Duck Egg Blue inside?? It looks so bright and cheery and is that bit of color she wanted.....
 She couldn't wait to put china in the cabinet....
When we left, she was starting to go through her collection from all these years....
Mission accomplished!
Now, I just have to rearrange the garage so both cars can get back in, because, when I got all those boxes out, it caused a "chain reaction" and it got all messed up....
Hope you have a great day!!
Nancy

Sunday, October 4, 2015

My $15 Find

I've been looking for a while for a china cabinet for my daughter. She needs one as she has a china habit like I do. Yup, she does, and presently it is stored at my house as she has no more space in her little kitchen or other cabinets.
She has beautiful pieces from her Great-Grandmother (Minton) that she has saved and from her Grandmother and from a find that I got (a lovely Limoges). So those really need to see the light of day and be used, right?? Yeah, and leave my garage!
So, I've been looking.
Last week, there were many to shop from and I sent her lots of links to check them out. Most were too expensive on her budget (and mine), you know the "sigh" when you see it, and then when you see the asking price......
Well, there was one that caught my eye, but wasn't gorgeous. Not what was in either of our minds, but the price definitely was. $15!
Yes, I called. It was still available and yes, $15....
So, since my daughter had to work, Hubby and I went....it wasn't far away, about 3 miles or so.
They had moved it from their apartment downstairs to their garage. They even helped move it.....twice.
What's that you say??
Well, only one half fit into the SUV at a time....
So we had to make two trips.....
But it was worth it.....
So, now, I am painting.........
I'll show you the finished product when it's done....but for now, here is the "tease".....





For those that are curious, we are going for a slightly more "modern" look as opposed to antique look. She doesn't want "shabby chic" or antique, so it will be French Linen with no distressing or dark wax.
The interior will be all Duck Egg Blue, no wax.....
And the hardware is getting changed out .....just to freshen it. What she chose....you'll get to see later.
For now, my day is painting and laundry....
Have a great day!
Nancy

Friday, October 2, 2015

A Trip to Lake Tahoe

We've been wanting to go to Lake Tahoe as we haven't been in about 30 years. Yeah, I know, right??
So, my wonderful Hubby rented a sweet little cabin just outside of Tahoe, about a ten minute drive to the lake....and we took the dogs.



The drive took us about 9 hours from our home here in So. California as Lake Tahoe is in Northern California.
We had a fairly pleasant drive, good weather and the dogs mostly behaved (except our ten year old lab who has decided that car travel is not his thing anymore).
We got there with plenty of time to settle in, which is good with dogs.
The next day we decided we had to find the beach that dogs are allowed on....(Tahoe is strict about where they are allowed).
The Lake on the Southern side is VERY low, one would have to walk out about 3 football fields to get to any depth of water at all....mostly wading pools at the Southern end. The deep water was on the Nevada side. Very sad.
Our dogs had a good time with what they had though, even though they wanted to swim...especially the younger 8 year old who dragged me out into the water to my knees!
The second day, we found another lake, Fallen Leaf Lake. That is a glacial lake and we went to a day use area....great campground for campers out there!! That was so much fun....



 This is Tucker, he enjoyed swimming though his sister, Belle (not really his sister), enjoyed it the most. They were in harness and long lounge line (20 feet) because they have little experience and we didn't want them to find they couldn't swim back...or worse go after a squirrel and get lost, or hurt.
Isn't it beautiful?? LOvely water....apparently it is spring fed.
Our trip was cut short however, as we got a call that a dear friend of ours has passed away. So, we loaded up and left....three days short of our time....It was lovely while it lasted....
Hope you have a great day.
Nancy