House for an Owl and Madi's progress.

My wanderlust granddaughter is still exploring South America. Her goal was to backpack to every country and she may make it yet before she heads back to her summer job in Alaska.  
We have been commited to providing habitat for birds since we moved here 1980... and have planted 1000s of trees and shrubs on our 22 acres.   I had two sighting of a barn owl in my forest last fall and wanted to have a nesting house ready for them before spring.  There is a barn owl group locally that provides already cut houses ready for assembly.

So last week I started one   and it is big enough for a dog house... It is the official recommended size.. 18x18x24.

It took me the better part of a day to get it all drilled and screwed together.. Now I just need to get it painted and get help getting it mounted 10' up the front of the barn.... Then just wait and hope... The back is hinged and owl experts will come and check it periodically and if we are lucky enough to get a nesting, then  the chicks will be documented and their growth videotaped for an ongoing study of barn owls in this area.



Well about a year ago I started some Easter buttons and haven't painted since.  I was going to start again on July and then every month after but life kept getting more stressful and complicated but finally I did it this week...

Painting buttons is not something I can just start and stop while cooking or chatting etc.  I have to be totally focused and relaxed.. People often say "You must have good eyesight" but as you know I have terrible eyesight but a very LARGE magnifying glass can compensate.

What is absolutely necessary is a steady hand and that just takes lots and lots of practice.  I paint in the morning when the light is good and I am fresh.  I usually work in batches of ten buttons so some are drying between coats of paint as I go along.  From prep to sealing, it takes about 5 days to finish a batch and I figure I have about 2 hours in each button.

I should have some ready for my Etsy shop soon maybe...


Linen and vintage Singer trading cards........

This lovely block belongs to Marilyn Nepper who is starting a CQ project using linen from blouses and shirts she's collected from thrift stores and I think it is going to be fabulous.  I've many fine linen and damask tablecloths I have always wanted to use but never even thought about using linen clothing... I'll definitely be on the lookout now for it.  And it is perfect for the turn of the century trading cards.

      Actually it was Marilyn who brought these cards to my attention several years ago... At the turn of the century  Singer Sewing Machine had an advertising campaign with trading cards about American Songbirds.  There were 13 in the series.  On the back of the cards was a promo for a Singer product.  They are delightful....

She had trouble getting things shipped to Canada  so I volunteered to put together a complete set for both  of us... There weren't any complete sets for sale so by combining partial sets I was eventually able to get a complete set for both of us... and actually cards in very good condition considering they were about 100 years old.

Each card had a picture of a bird and its egg and information about the bird on the back of the card.  Marilyn cut the bird out but I like the idea of the egg and the singer logo... I had forgotten all about mine but I searched them out when she started her project... These would be absolutely perfect for CQJP2014 so I may have to start a little late and play catch up...



I miss them all...well maybe not Randy Andy...

Occasionally in the links below a post a sheep link will appear and I always click... I adored my sheep and miss them daily (except for Randy Andy...my little stud muffin) so when this post on Randy Andy came up it gave me a chuckle.  I especially miss the ewes now that lambing season is approaching.

I had signed up for CQJP 2014 but I had no inspiration for a year-long project and the days just slipped by...and now I'm so focused on finishing the suffrage quilt I can't think about starting something new... But while driving today I was thinking that it would be great fun to do something similar to my Morris book but about my sheep...  Even more fun to do it with wool..  So when CQJP 2015 is announced I'll be eager and ready...


Fan Round Robin blocks

Well I'm sending out my Fan round robin blocks today and they should be coming home in mid summer.  The are all the same so I just grouped 4 of them together....I haven't been in a round robin for a couple years.  I always encourage people to join because it is the best way to connect with old friends and new friends...  In this group are two dear friends and excellent stitchers... Connie Kalina and Lisa Boni.   We have been together before several  times in RRs.  Also in the group are Lisa Alff, Judy Domac and Thearica Burroughs.

Although I always send my blocks out with high hopes, not every RR is successful... Usually because of my failure to communicate among other reasons... It's import to be specific in the instructions you send with the blocks as people can't read your mind from across the miles...

 I asked for peacock colors, fancy seams, beads and gold cording, no lace, and no large trims or motifs.  I love working with specific perimeters  from others as it is always a challenge.  It forces me to try things I would have never thought of otherwise...

But it's the friends, both old and new, not the results that are important.

I want to use these along with the peacock block I hope to work on this summer so the timing is perfect...


A bit about bags

 Every time I go to town to see my mother I spend about 1 1/2 hours behind the wheel... Obviously I'm not stitching but lately on the way back and forth I'm been thinking about another bag... Although I love my boho bag there are things I would do differently.  It was the third try on my chatelaine that I got it all together.

The size was OK but I love the shape of this replica of an old carpet bag but the handle is wimpy.  Isn't it gorgeous?

I love the shape and size and bigger handles on this slouchy bag but I don't like the way it collapses in the center when closed...

And of course what is not to love about this boho bag.
which I found on Pinterest...  to be really practical I'll have NO lace or trim on the bottom because I really use and abuse my bags.  My boho bag I have now has a suede leather bottom which HAS worked great! What I really want is to combine the best of all these bags which brings me to my little red everyday bag 

This has been my favorite bag of all time and I can just throw it in the wash.  I've often said that when it wears out I will cut it up for a pattern and make another just like it.  Of course it is far too small to hold an 10" hoop.

It is actually three sections with the handles attached to the outer sections.  The design and piecing is quite complex... Not counting the outside little pockets there were, as close as I could count, 22 separate pieces.  which in itself is great for crazy quilting.

So when I actually get around to making another bag I'll try to adapt a pattern from this bag....larger and a different shape.  Of course that means I will have to make two... The first will be a trial run which will not be quite right so I will have to make another to get it right...  Now as I'm driving I will have to start thinking about themes and colors...  Definitely black for one with maybe a magpie  and lots of rhinestones and glitz... sometimes the planning and problem solving is as much fun as the actual doing.


Whatta ya think???

Found a few extra crocheted things in the barn....Had  this work stool!

Saw this this ....hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Now I also have this handy little folding stool perfect for my featherweight because it tucks under nicely....BUT TURQUOISE  PLASTIC!!!  Back to the barn!


Peacock stash and Victorian sitting bench...

I have just 5 days to get my blocks together to mail for the fan RR.  I wanted peacock colors because I want to combine it with a peacock UFO... So while Susie was here I went through my stash plus added a few from a thrift store on the only day we were able to get out.  Our cold spell is about over and we managed to get through it with no frozen pipes which is always a relief in this old house.  The pickup hasn't started for days. I bundled my California Susie in heavy sweat pants, warm jackets and plenty of quilts.

The Victorian sitting bench is on a holding pattern...  I have it all screwed together but don't want to add a cushion until I get it outside to paint...which will be a couple weeks at least... Now it just has just a couple blankets on it but it is safe to say that it is a success even in it's unfinished state...



Together at last.....

Susie Wolfe has been visiting since Sunday and even though it was subzero weather and snowing, we had a grand time.  We had a fire going continually and kept our fingers crossed for no frozen pipes.  I sewed the suffrage quilt together and it all worked as I had hoped.
Susie herringboned all the seams on the back to make them lay flat.
And now I'm adding the beaded fans, cameos and the very final touches.  And making decisions about borders, trims, binding, label, etc.

While she was here Susie was working on a beautiful caddy for the table where she stitches.. It's base is a white cutter quilt and in addition to using lots of lace, she'll be  adding steampunk.
I was able to find a pincushion that coordinated with it beautifully.


Short person collection and visitor...

Other people collect things like aprons, antiques, and cookie jars.  I collect foot stools.  Mainly because I am short.  Not only am I short in stature, I am short armed and short legged as well.  On most chairs my feet do not rest on the floor and my legs become numb so I have foot stools everywhere.

The littlest footstool on the right enables me to climb onto my very high bed.

I am always on the lookout for needlepoint pieces at thrift stores because some of my footstools are reminders of Morris's puppyhood.

Not only do I collect footstools I have a good many step ladders...(short person syndrome)  I especially like little vintage wooden ones.  But my favorite functional stool is this one from Harbor Freight. for less than $20.. It rolls about like a dream and is great for doing things on a low level without getting down on my knees.  If you have a bad back or bad knees you REALLY need one of these!!!!!

Susie Wolfe is here visiting and we've  been so busy stitching... I should have some pictures up tomorrow... It has been bitterly cold and we have been staying close to the fire..  Molly is keeping Susie's bed warm.
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