Thursday, August 30, 2007

P is for Petting Zoo

Kaitlin has been student-teaching at St. Theresa's School in Phoenix.

For several weeks she has been saying that we HAD to go to the "Fall Festival" which was on Sunday. Of course I was dying to go. What fun! I would get to meet her 7th and 8th-grade students and her "mentor" teacher, Mrs. Drummey.

Daniel came along as well. There was tons of great food and drinks, (a bar even! Catholics sure know how to party!) and a great line-up of live entertainment. There was a cake-walk and rock climbing and the usual fun and games, but I was most enchanted by the petting zoo.

This chicken climbed into everyone's lap!

Honestly, Daniel was a little bit afraid of the goats. "Dan, just put your arm around it - like a DOG!" "Mom, it's NOT a has HORNS!"

Which one is the teacher?

I couldn't resist the chance to lock these two up in jail. It only cost me four tickets!

More of Kaitlin's students.

We had a great day!

O is for Orphaned Quilt Block

Another item I can't resist is the lone quilt block. Perhaps it was intended for a quilt that never was completed. Perhaps it was left over from a finished quilt - or maybe it was a "practice" block.

These turn up everywhere and I enjoy rescuing them. But what to actually do with them? Mostly they just accumulate like everything else but I have made a few into Christmas ornaments and zipper pouches. It's been so long since I did a tutorial that I thought it would be fun to take step-by-step photos:

N is for Needlepoint

I can't resist a vintage needlepoint canvas. I see one and I imagine the woman who worked on it intending some wonderful purpose. I never spend a lot of money and they are quite plentiful. Sometimes they are like new and other times they have been removed from a chair or bench.

I made a bag out of one canvas and it turned out pretty well. I didn't get a photo though - sorry! I think I will make more now that it's almost fall.

It feels like just yesterday I was complaining about the
heat, and already it is cool and beautiful here in Scottsdale, AZ.

M is for Marigold

A couple of years ago when Kaitlin was working for Anthropologie, she declared that her new favorite color was "marigold." She began wearing this color and decorating her room with it. We've had a lot of fun spotting marigold in fashion and in home decor.

I began to realize that I had some vintage marigold items in my stash as well and I started to add them to a box. Soon the box was full to overflowing. I don't know what I will ever do with this collection, but it is fun to look at!

L is for Lavender Bird Sachets

These are wool and stuffed with lavender. The sewing room smells heavenly!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

K is for Ken and Kaitlin

Here is a photo of my darling husband Ken, with Kaitlin on the front porch at Aunt Janice's house in Marietta Ohio a couple of weeks ago. Aren't they adorable?

J is For Jar

This is what the empty jars look like. They are in three sizes.

The little ones are great for buttons, the mediums are filled with trims and millinery flowers and fruit and the big ones are also filled with flowers and lavender potpourri. I probably have a total of 30 jars. I know... it's a problem. I went back to the store twice for more jars after the first trip.

Anyone want to meet Heather and I at IKEA?

Friday, August 24, 2007

I is for IKEA

We have an IKEA store not too far away - perhaps a 40-minute drive, but convenient to my daughter in Tempe. Somehow, I just never get there. In fact, it is my sister-in-law, Heather who usually gets me to go by offering to meet me there.

I'm not really into cooking or kitchen stuff, and I am trying to clear out the accessories from my house - not add to them. Furthermore, IKEA is just so large and overwhelming that it seems to take forever just to get through it. Even if I wanted one thing and knew exactly where it was, it would take 30 minutes to get to it, place it in the cart and check out. SO... I am not a big IKEA fan.

But this all changed several weeks ago.

Heather called on a whim to meet me there - I was already at Kaitlin's so it worked out perfectly - although I might have dressed a little bettter! We wove in and out admiring one thing after another. My cart remained empty while she seemed to locate all sorts of things needed for her daughter, Alex. A desk! A chair! A lamp! A drawer! Heather quickly made her selections....

Breezing along through the kitchen stuff my eye caught a display of jars...

Now most people would use them for pasta or sugar or cookie cutters, or whatever else people use in their kitchens. I of course thought "Buttons."

My buttons ARE in jars, but it is rather a mishmash of antique mall finds and jelly jars - nothing consistent. Suddenly I had an image of a line-up of perfectly matched jars filled with color-coordinated buttons. I HAD to have them.

There were several sizes and I added them to my cart. I was thrilled and couldn't wait to get home to begin sorting and organizing things into my new Jars... Hey, Jars starts with J, right? More to come....

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

H is for Heat!

Here in Arizona we are accustomed to the summer heat, but this year has been worse than usual. In fact we have now had 27 days of over-110-degree weather already this year. If we hit 110 today we will tie a record. Since the last day of the year to ever hit 110 has been September 15th, we still have plenty of time.

Of course, nine months of the year the weather is perfection. The sun is always shining and the sky is always clear and blue!

Update: Broke the record today - August 29, 2007 with the 29th day of over 110 degrees so far this year.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

G is for Grandma Moe

This is my grandma, Ruth Moe. I discovered this photo of her at my mom's house earlier this summer. I love it because this is probably from the early 70's which would have been when I was a girl. This is how I remember her. Aside from the obvious fun of the styling, which cracks me up, I love the stern expression on her face. She was never really stern but had to put on this attitude for her students (and grandkids) sometimes.

Her hair turned silvery-white as she aged and by the time my children were born she had long hair worn in a french twist. Her face also softened quite a bit.

She was a schoolteacher for many many years. All of her students loved her and everyone wanted "Mrs. Moe" for the fourth grade. She taught at Peters Elementary in Plantation Florida and we lived nearby. All of the kids in the neighborhood knew her and were impressed to learn that Mrs. Moe was my grandmother.

After her retirement she devoted herself to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was the quintessential grandmother. She quilted, baked cookies and was a pillar of her church. She also started taking piano lessons. It was something she had "always wanted to do." Her piano teacher was one of her former students - now grown, married and a father.

She also did French Hand Sewing - by hand, of course! She made a beautiful christening gown, Christmas stockings and dresses for her granddaughters and great-granddaughters.

Grandma Moe always encouraged my creativity. When I was about in fifth grade I was sick with the mumps and my mom sent me to her house to recover. While there I discovered her stack of craft magazines and sent her out shopping for supplies. "I need FINIALS and pipe cleaners and paint and jingle bells and felt and don't forget the glue..." She was happy (at least she SEEMED happy...) to do this. I had so much fun creating that I never wanted to leave.

Later on she gave me my first sewing machine for Christmas. She also gave me my first guitar. The guitar didn't work out....

In 1976, just in time for the Bicentennial, she helped me with my first quilt. The pattern was called "Aunt Sukey's Choice." I put it in a frame at her house and she and her friends and my mom and even my great-grandmother helped to quilt it. I still have that quilt. It is pretty cute!

Grandma Moe always encouraged me in anything I ever tried to do. She made me feel important and talented and powerful. She is gone now, but I hold her in my heart. Someday I hope to be the kind of grandmother that she was to me.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

F is For Felt Flower Pins

I ordered a sample pack of wool felt from a seller on eBay and I've been having some fun with it. I used these bright colors for flower pins. What do you think? I am determined to find a way to use ALL of the colors. I'll keep you posted...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

E is for Exhausted and Excedrin

It's been one of those days. School starts next week which means we have a lot of running around to do. Today was registration at the high school for James. I was just finishing filling out the "health card" when I remembered that he was supposed to have a shot before he was allowed to register. He is 15.

There was no way I was getting in to the pediatrician. They could schedule us for October! I knew from experience that our usual "Urgent Care" provider does not do vaccinations. I knew of another clinic a little further away and we had had a good experience there several months ago. We headed there only to learn that they didn't do vaccinations either. I asked if they could recommend another place, they did, and we headed there. No luck. However, the woman at the desk was very helpful. She discovered that the shots were available for free at Scottsdale Osborne Hospital on Saturday. But we needed to register TODAY. She made a couple of more calls and discovered a Walk-in Clinic only about 30 more minutes further away that had the vaccine.

We drove there only to walk in to a completely full waiting room. Literally two seats were left. I knew it would be a long wait. Good thing I had a book :) After about an hour and a half we got the shot. The nurse said: "This is about the 500th one I've done this week." No kidding?

By now it was long past the scheduled time for our registration. We hurried to school and finished just under the gun.

Now, where's the Excedrin?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

D is for Diet

I am on another diet... sigh.... I am inspired by this coat. The designer, a friend, Emmett McCarthy named the coat for me and generously sent me one, but alas - the largest size (a ten) is too tight! Grrrrrr.... So I have been very diligent about my diet (Atkins - the only thing that works for me) and I have made great progress. I was too ashamed to actually step on the scale at the start so I don't know exactly how much weight I have lost but I am down at least ten or fifteen pounds.

Unfortunately the coat is still tight...

C is for Christmas Ornaments

I love to make Christmas ornaments from vintage fabrics and trims. My favorites are these little stockings. I've made hundreds and hundreds. Once upon a time they were featured in "Better Homes and Gardens CHRISTMAS IDEAS" along with several other of my designs. They were on the cover!

One day I will locate a copy and scan it for my blog....

Anyway... This is my most recent version. The photo is my grandmother, Ruth as a young girl. I am enjoying my scanner and have figured out how to re-format and print onto fabric. I have a whole sheet of these so you can expect her to show up in several more projects :)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

B is For Books

The other day I was shopping at an antique mall when I discovered two plastic bags of children's books. The bags were securely stapled shut so it was impossible to see exactly what was in them but they were only $2.75 for seven books (in each bag.) My daughter is an Elementary Education major and she recently mentioned that she was trying to build up her library of children's books so I thought this might be something she could use in the classroom. Of course I purchased them.

When I opened the bags at home I discovered that the books were rather damaged and fragile. The pages are falling out and several are wavy as if they have been wet. And yet... I am fascinated by them. They are mostly from the 50's and 60's - all marked as being owned by a "David Drain" or sometimes "Davy." The images are charming. I thought I could use them for some pinbacks (a favorite project which I don't think I have shared here yet... I'll have to save it for "P")but then something else started to percolate...

I have always loved working with fabric and other textiles, and have so far resisted the siren call of scrapbooking, collage and other paper arts - although I enjoy seeing them. It would be impossible to rationalize the purchase of papercrafting supplies when I have boatloads of vintage textiles just waiting for the muse.

But there was something about the books.....

I tried something new. What do you think?

A is For Artist

I read about this idea here, at Bella Dia and I think I will give it a shot. I'm going to try to feature a photo of something in my house or something that I have made that starts with each letter.

My first effort is "A is for Artist." The first painting is by Susie Pryor. The bottom one is by Linda James. You'll find their paintings at the Bennett Street Gallery in Atlanta.

I have never met the artists personally, but my sister lives in Atlanta and she and my mom often visited galleries. My mom purchased these and they now hang in my home.

Here is the view down the hall...

And here is a close-up. This work is titled "Lamb."

My mom chose the one at the top because it reminded her of Kaitlin and I.

I miss my mom....

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Ribbon Angels

Every time I discovered one of these "folkloric"-style ribbons I would put it in a box. Now the box is stuffed and it is time to do something with them! I tried a couple of things, but these were the most successful. What do you think?