In the nick of time!

I did indeed finish October's block on the very last day of October... 

The cream colored folded ribbon lower left was my least favorite of all the folded ribbons Susie and I did and it was the very devil to attach to the block.. or embellish...  It was supposed to look like the ribbon on the right.  It just doesn't look right and was too much trouble.  I will cross it off my list.

The ribbon "thing" upper right was supposed to look like the lower one on the left which was done with ribbon a different color on each side.  I tried to use TWO different colored ribbons and it was just to bulky.  I ended up adding some silk ribbon embellishment to it.  I like the fold well enough that I'll watch for a ribbon which will work better.

Now that I see the entire block on the screen I'm going to find some 15s and add them to the lace rose.

I use these CQJP block as testing pieces for various things... In this case I was using cotton pearl I have had for ages.. (wheels by bottom of image)  but it was heavier than I like to work with and probably won't use it again..  If these were RR blocks and going to someone else I am less likely to experiment.


Working in threes!

This entire CQJP project I have been working in threes.  Not really intentionally but it has worked out that way and I like it.  I put down the laces and trims on three blocks and then do the blocks one by one for the rest of the embellishment..  DH has been gone all week and one of those days I stayed in my nightclothes most of the day and just stitched.  It felt so decadent.

Lower left is the October block which I may indeed finish in October which I did not think possible last month.  Usually I get kind of tired of a theme or color scheme after this many blocks but these have been very restful colors and the challenge of the ribbon folding technique has really peaked my interest all along.

Enough that the next CQJP project will not have a theme as such but be focused on technique. I must be on the road to recovery as I am actually having pain-free (well almost pain free) coherent thoughts.  The therapy on the shoulder is going well, the ribs are mostly healed and the bruising on the rest of my body has faded..


An owl came to visit!!!

As I was passing the kitchen window at dusk I was literally stunned to see a great horned owl only feet away in the maple tree right outside the kitchen window..   I was trying to get these pictures through the kitchen window and, besides the fact it was getting so dark so fast, the sunset was reflecting in the glass. 

I lightened  one picture and you can see it turned its head and stared right at me

I love owls and often see them hunting if I walk at dusk.  Having one this close was so special.

When I was sorting projects the other day I ran across this sampler from Sharon Boggins' class.  I have always loved it and want to do something special with it....BUT WHAT?  Recently I was gifted this purple blanket binding and lovely velvet ribbon..  Maybe that will inspire me.

And then I have baskets of RR blocks just waiting...


My day was waylaid.....

The last thing before I fall asleep I often plan what I want to do the next day.  I love waking up with a sense of purpose.  DH is out of town and I had a lovely long uninterrupted day ahead. And I decided I was going to spend the day painting buttons and answering emails.  I did neither.

I got the lace and trims on the last three blocks last night and this morning I awoke wondering where was the blue silk I bought in LA two years ago and what did I do with the two extra blocks I made for the covers for the corset cuties.  And so I ended up making a huge mess but finally found the silk, etc. and was able to sort tons of things out. But not until I had made a huge mess everywhere.   My goal is to go right into January and finish this project.  I got the silk page linings cut today, the interfacing applied, and the seam lines basted.  Now I can add the corset ads and embellished them. These linings will be my on-the-go blocks for the next two months.

I decided I would not start any new projects in 2016 until I finished the hanky project and the cottage project.  The hanky project has been held up because I could not find exactly what I wanted to back and border it with.  I had my heart set on a dusky blue moirĂ© taffeta and it proved almost impossible to find... But I have it now and will move ahead after the first of the year.  There will be lots of embroidery on the taffeta so this is not a quickie project.

The second big finish will be the cottage blocks.  I originally intended for these to be a book.  But after the excitement of a quilt in Houston, I thought I might finish it as a quilt and enter it.  I just could not make a firm decision.  But now I have.  I will go with my first plan and make it into a book.  Friends and family can look at it in a book and I know that  I  (nor anyone else) would ever hang it on a wall... so a book it is.  I have this lovely striped silk for the linings and now that I have made that decision I am eager to do this.  I loved these blocks from start to finish.  The blocks are only 7" but I want the book pages to be about 12" square so each block will be bordered and embellished.  So this also will be a time consuming finish.

When I do finish these, which will probably take several months, I ran across two projects to finish that have been shunted aside.....  especially  the peacock piece which I have MANY hours already into.  The other is a ORANGE piece with a Moroccan theme. 

So even though not one button was painted, it was a very productive day and just what I needed to get myself going again.


Cool web site.

 When I did the post about corset ads Lacysuzette sent me the coolest website...  http://vintagepassementerie.com/products-page/vintage-lingerie-trims/  Even if I can't afford some of it, it is a joy just to see it.

The most exciting for me was the section on ribbon folding and ribbon trims..  They don't sell these trims but do sell the two-sided ribbon to do this fantastic trim.  I think I have some ribbon very similar and want to try these.. Aren't they absolutely  gorgeous?  Plus they sold lots of flower trims by the yard.

They also sell  vintage items  and in the section on lingerie there is pink Vionnet corset trim, hook/eye corset trim & ribbons with attached lace.  Which I am thinking I might find a use for as I assemble my books of corset cuties...maybe on the cover.  To the left  is another trim that I thought was lovely..  The really old vintage stuff is quite expensive as you would expect, but there were many affordable items like this one as well.


They also had some lovely appliques.  Again the truly vintage ones were expensive.  But for something really special, I could be tempted.
I particularly liked this one which was NOT expensive and could be cut up.

So thank you Lacysuzette for sending me that link... and I would love the scans you mentioned.  There was no reply option to your post.  If you will email me at olderrose@gmail.com  we can work out the details...


Trials of a "Chicken Trainer"

My old hens were at the end of their laying years when I bought   new chicks last spring.  Since it takes about 6 months until the new hens are ready to lay, I kept the two old ones for the few eggs they did lay...  Now it's time for the new layers to start egg production and they are trying my patience.

They were avoiding the nesting boxes and trying to lay their eggs in the shavings on the floor of the roost.  I know from past years  hens like a really dark box so I completely covered the nesting boxes with black plastic so no light gets in around the lids of the boxes. Then I took all of the shavings off the floor of the roost.  Of course now I have to practically crawl in the roost to reach the boxes but once they are used to using the nesting boxes I can remove the plastic...

It also helps to have a pseudo egg in the nesting box.  When I was a child my grandfather had two gorgeous marble eggs he used.  He used to tease me to be sure and check carefully when I gathered eggs because if I gathered a marble one I would have to eat it for breakfast... So 35 years ago when I got my first chickens, I searched out a couple gorgeous marble eggs. 

My old neighbor bluntly told me that golf balls worked much better.  Over the years he has been proven right.  I kept trying though.  The hens avoided the nest with the marble eggs and consistently chose a nest with the golf balls.  Sometimes there would be 3 eggs in with the golf ball and maybe 1 egg (or none)  in the box with the marble egg.  Sometimes they would even maneuver the marble egg right out of the nest.. So I keep my beautiful marble eggs in an egg basket and fondly remember my wonderful grandfather.

And my efforts have paid off as both yesterday and today they have laid their eggs inside the nesting boxes.

The deer come each day for water and after they have checked under the apple and plum trees, they eat any sunflower seeds under the bird feeder.  Morris quietly watches their every move.  This doe has twins and the other one is just to  the left out of range of my camera.  The deer and I have learned to coexist.  I would miss them terribly if they weren't part of my day. 


I might need a "Dowager!"

Now that I can actually see the corset cuties getting finished I can start thinking about the finished pieces...as there will be two books from these blocks. ... one each for my youngest granddaughters.
On the lining or back side of each "page" will be a vintage ad or two.  I began collecting them when I started the suffrage project as they were so much a part of women's lives at that time.
Some are elegant, some are humorous and some are frightening.  The ones I didn't save are the ones advertising corsets for pregnant women and corsets for young children.  Here are a few that will probably make the cut for the books.

How about the "Princess Hip" or the "Dowager" that will properly reduce stout figures to correct proportions.  What's with the spider element?
 Or how about the ad showing the old out-of-style silhouette vs. the newest look?

 And heaven forbid that we have brass eyelets.... haven't the foggiest what a "Paris clasp" was...
And there were a lot of whimsical ads which I'm sure were meant to target the young ladies with romance on their minds.....
Just the ads themselves would be a great set of blocks. I even gave that a thought at the beginning but opted for the "real" girls but happy to find a way in incorporate the ads into the project.


September and a makeover is needed

Last night I finished the September CQJP block... Which means I get to actually get to start the October block IN October which is the same as being caught up...Again a folded ribbon is the "star" of this block.  Susie did this one as it was one of the most difficult of the ones I wanted.  I am going to have to fold a few more ribbons for the last three months.

I started out this morning ready to hit a lot of thrift stores in search of a new suitcase that would fit my needs for a special trip coming up soon. .. And if I didn't find one I was set to go to Macy's and buy a new one...  I found it at the very first stop... the Volunteers of America . Brand new for $20.  It is exactly what I wanted except it is orange.. VERY ORANGE....  It needs a bit of a makeover...
I was also looking for a bag/tote to use for my needlework and in place of a carry-on.  I found a fabulous one. large, lightweight, soft and has tons of pockets and NEW.    I saved so much money I treated myself to lunch at the Panda Express.  I love their "Honey Walnut Shrimp" with rice. 


August.... and "gastrique"

The August cqjp2015 block was fun because I was able to find a use for some funky 3-D rose fabric I have had in my stash "f o r e v e r....."  and do a few fun seam treatments as well..  and I am still in love with ribbon folding for seams.... I think I got the fabric from Cathy Kizerian when we visited Susie in LA.  I had to kinda mooch  and manipulate it to get it to work but I like it.  Have a little left.
The other day I found a recipe for chicken crepes topped with a raspberry gastrique... I had no idea what a "gastrique" was but since then I have found recipes for raspberry gastrique used on pork, salmon, and duck..  It is a sweet and sour sauce and it can be made with other fruits besides raspberries.  Here is squab with a blueberry gastrique.   Now OF COURSE I have to try it on the chicken crepe recipe and luckily for me Emeril Lagasse has a video on the internet with excellent instructions. 
I haven't made crepes since the 1970's when they were all the rage... But I ran across my beloved crepe cookbook and am inspired to try some of my old favorites. My kids loved them and it was always a cool way to sneak extra veggies into their diet.  They balked at broccoli just by itself but tuck it in a crepe with a little cheese sauce and they devoured it eagerly.


Getting back on track!!!

Sometime when I'm away from a project for a while I return to it full of new ideas and enthusiasm. but it has been the opposite with this CQJP project.  I started out a block ahead and then got behind when mother died and then was catching up when I had my accident and now trying to catch up again.  When I started again I had lost my momentum and focus and was struggling... But I am slowly getting into it again.  I took 3 blocks with me to Seaside Oregon but hadn't all the right  supplies.  But on return I finished this block and have another just about done.  This is July!
While I was recuperating I tried to stay  immobile to allow to ribs to heal as quickly as possible.  I can tell you this is VERY boring... Luckily we had a trip planned to Seaside Oregon with some friends for a week to play in a competitive bridge tournament.  This not only allowed me to sit still but the time passed very quickly.  This is only a portion of the tables in play on the first floor of the convention center.. there was a second floor and two additional venues.  During a game you could hear a pin drop in this large room...  During the course of the day, ALL of these players will play the same exact hands at some time.... the object is to play them better...
As an added bonus we scored first in a team event with our friends....  I came home feeling much better.
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