Saturday, March 28, 2009

Number Eight - Peter's Wife

Rhymeland Quilt block number eight is finished!
That pumpkin shell doesn't look very spacious, does it!?

From this angle, the letters seem to be a little bit "uphill". It was drying on a towel when I took the photo, so I think it will be straight when it is pressed.

This was the last block that was ready to stitch. I had not stamped the last four designs, but they were waiting to be transferred to the blocks. My iron of 35 (or so) years betrayed me! It stuck to the paper and pulled it out of position before the entire design was clear! Just a little on one side was too faint, though, so I decided I could pencil it in.

I decided that maybe I had the temperature turned up too hot, so I turned it down for the next one. The same thing happened again, only this time there was not enough of the design to salvage so that block was unusable. Naturally, I didn't learn my lesson and I ruined the fourth one, too!

I can wash the blocks and reuse them, but I will have to re-trace the designs with the tracing pencil before I can re-stamp them.

I think I may have ruined the Teflon finish on the sole plate of my iron during my mis-adventures with t-shirt stabilizer.... I guess a new iron every 35 years isn't too extravagant...

Who knows? Its been so long since I shopped for one, maybe there is new ironing technology! Maybe I will get on that has wi-fi!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rhymeland Number Six & Number Seven

I have finished two more of the Rhymeland Quilt blocks and I am really pleased with how they are turning out. There is enough detail in the designs to keep it interesting, but not so much that it makes it difficult to stitch.

This is Tommy Tucker, singing for his supper - don't you just love the shoes?

A gigantic umbrella for gigantic rain drops! I love the eyes in both of these blocks!

I am almost finished with Peter Piper's Wife. I will have four more to do after that.

These blocks have been fun, but I have a couple of other projects in the hopper that I am itching to get started on.

It's a good thing car show season is right around the corner. I will have plenty of time, sitting in parks, parking lots and fairgrounds in the next couple of months to work on lots of things!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tiny Trimmings

Besides Dearest Sister's two grandbebes that will be joining the family this year, there is another baby due that is a grandbebe of our good friend that we lost last month. The mother of this child is a dear friend of Ms A. She and her mother and Ms A and I enjoyed many Girl Scout overnights through the years and we are all anticipating meeting the baby boy in a few weeks.

My baby gift plans started out grandiose. I was going to make a flannel quilt with a pattern that I got in the Great Frozen North last December.

January and February did not quite go as planned, so that idea was set aside for a purchased layette set from the Osh-Kosh store at the outlet mall. I still wanted to make something special, but with the due date approaching and other projects undone, I had about given up on the handmade aspect.

A few days ago, Martha at Q is for Quilter posted these images from the 1948 Simplicity Needlework Catalog. I decided they were just the ticket for handmade baby gifts that do not require weeks of commitment to finish!

So yesterday, I made this:

It is from Simplicity embroidery designs pattern #7123, "Story Book Trims".

I had never stitched on knit fabric and the stabilizer experience was certainly a learning one!

The suggestion was to use 6 strands of floss. I only used three strands for most everything - two strands for the giraffe.

I think it turned out a little wonky, but cute. For the next one, I may use all one color to minimize the number of knots and threads. I might try one with more strands of floss, too.

It was a really quick little project and I can't wait to do more!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Another stash....

When I first saw Martha's Simple Objects Quilt at Q is for Quilter, a whole new world of embroidery motifs opened up for me! Her beautiful quilt is made from the designs in a vintage coloring book from 1963!

Previously, my embroidery was really centered on transfers from Aunt Martha and Sublime Stitching. I had ordered a tracing pad and transfer pencils so that I could do other designs, but I was thinking more of being able to re-use some of the vintage transfers in my collection. (When the instructions say "transfer the design to fabric using your favorite method", I usually passed. My favorite"method" is heat transfer!)

Suddenly, a light bulb went off and I picked up several coloring books that had simple line designs. I looked on eBay for vintage coloring books, but most of the listings didn't really show any of the pages, so it was hard to tell if the designs would be fun. And, they were too pricey to take a chance.

When the Mister and I were in Kansas last month, I stopped at an antique show and found a couple of coloring books and a tragic quilt (that story is here). One of the coloring books had an adorable image of a teddy bear on a rocket ship, but the opposite page (with a presumably coordinating picture) was missing. So, occasionally I have searched on eBay to see if I could find another one of those books with all the pages.

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled on a seller that has listings of books and coloring books that are pristine, and unused. Apparently, they are from the Western Publishing archives and, they are listed as auctions with a starting bid of 99 cents. And, some of them go for 99 cents!

This past weekend, I received the first package of purchases. Four coloring books - total with shipping less than $15.00! And they are wonderful!!

Like most sellers, none of the inside pictures were in the listings, but for the price, I decided to take a chance, or four chances to be accurate!

I couldn't be more pleased! One of them is Simple Objects to Color, but it is a later edition. I think, from the style of the pictures it is from the late 60's or early 70's:

I can just picture bottles like these in dark purple and aqua!

Is that flower power I see on that saxophone?

The other three are large format. The Trucks book is from 1951!

"The freight is loaded. Now back up to the trailer." "See you in Kansas City," calls another driver.

There have been many changes in the transportation industry in 58 years!

The Mister liked this one!

The Mammoth Book to Color (no date) has some very cute-y pie animals!

This one reminds me of the Days of the Week patterns from Aunt Martha!

The Big Pictures for Little People to Color (1954)has some great vintage scenes, too.

That helmet doesn't look like it would protect much...

My next package will have 7 more. Most of them were listed as "buy it now" for $1.99. (total for 7 books with shipping - less than $20)

So, by now, I have purchased about a dozen coloring books. Bargains, to be sure, but over $35 worth! Probably enough for most folks. However, something inside me compels me to check every few days to see if there are any others that I might "need".

The seller is Golden Treasures.

You should look.

You might find some you like.

You would be doing me a favor if you buy them before I do....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

All Tish Tuesday, or History Sisters

When Dearest Sister was in Kindergarten, she met a "new girl" named Tish who became her bff. You can read her account here.

First day of Kindergarten for DS - I was home alone! Well without DS...

I believe that I have mentioned that throughout history (mine, anyway) I have been a hanger-on to most things that DS discovers first.

Using the Distributive Property, you can see that if

(DS+BFF) = (fun and high jinks)


(DS+me)= (fun and high jinks),


(DS + BFF + me) = (Great fun and Very high jinks!!)

Me on the left, DS on the right. Tish next to DS.

Most all my memories of fun with Tish are associated with summer.

We moved away from our hometown of Greensburg, but came back to visit and stay at Aunt Ruth and Uncle Don's house every summer and holiday. I remember visiting her at school for a day when one of our spring breaks didn't coincide with her spring break.

Mostly though, we hung out in the summer time. At the pool, at the drive in and at the dances at the VFW hall.

In front of the parlor at Aunt Ruth's house.

Tish is wearing my dress, DS is wearing a dress that would become mine and I am wearing some sort of toga, it seems! Must have been a Sunday morning, or we wouldn't be in dresses! Sometimes we performed as a vocal trio in church. When we were younger. ("Winds, through the olive trees, softly did blow....")

We shared clothes, adventures, secrets and 5 cent cokes. We admired shooting stars and tan farm boys and never wore shoes, (except to church).

Tish has a sister. DS and I have our sisters (each other, too), but Tish and DS and I are history sisters. And sometimes history is thicker than water!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Film Festival Production or...

What I got done while watching lots of movies!

This weekend, The Mister and I had a film festival! It didn't start out that way, but Friday evening, the television programming held nothing of interest to either of us, so I suggested that we watch a little bit of "Anne of Green Gables". The complete A of GG boxed set of DVD's was on my xmas list and The Mister always obliges by getting me everything on my list. It is one of my favorite stories and I always watch it on PBS whenever it is broadcast.

He was kind of like "whatever you want to watch, because I will be going to bed, shortly". What he didn't expect was that he would get interested in the story! We watched most of disc one together on Friday evening. He went up to bed before the end, but I watched the rest.

Saturday, I was surprised that he wanted to see the part he missed, so we replayed that part and then we watched all of disc two and disc three! Over 7 hours of Anne!

He was ready to put disc four in, but I suggested we save it for another time. The last two discs are less faithful to the original stories and get a little carried away, sometimes. (Almost to the point of jumping the shark, actually)

Anyway, this is what I did while we watched -

Miss Muffet on her tuffet - I love the little spider waving his hat and handkerchief!

Humpty Dumpty - (pre-fall)

This is still in progress, obviously. I usually do the lettering last, but I decided to do it first on this block. Mostly because I already had the needle threaded and the later it gets, the harder it is for me to thread a needle...

Yesterday, we got our weekend Netflix. I hope I can convince him to watch Mama Mia this afternoon!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Seventh of Seven!

I have finished the teapot towels!!

This is the final one! No mishaps - except smudges of Thin Mints that came out with a quick soak - (I love Oxyclean!)

I think the tulips were one of my favorites. I love tulips! No other flower says spring like tulips. (Except crocus, or daffodils or tiny bulb iris....) but I really liked the tulips on this teapot! I like pinks too, but I have never grown them, so they are not really one of my "old friends".

The violets remind me of the hundreds of violets that used to grow in our Kansas yard.

Their numbers diminished after The Mister and I were married. He is of the "tidy landscape" school and I am of the "enjoy whatever grows" school.

My feeling is that weeds are green and after they are mowed, it doesn't look so bad. His feeling is that if you have weeds, you should endeavor to replace those weeds with grass.

Unfortunately, the weed killers can not distinguish between pretty "weeds" and "weeds I don't like".

We have some roses here in our desert yard. After two years of our amateur tending, they are not looking as "vigorous" as some in the neighbor's yards. I may have to take the time to learn more about what they like and need to flourish.

For now, though - I am full steam ahead on the Rhymeland Quilt!

Monday, March 9, 2009

I am sure about this one!

In my last post, I mis-identified myself in a photo. The mistake could have been made by anyone who associated the date on the picture with the age of the child and jumped to the wild conclusion that it was the child born closest to that date - me!

This photo, I am sure about. It is Dearest Sister and Myself!

But I have no memory of the occasion, the setting or the garments (slipcovers?) that we are holding.

I have never seen those fabrics in another photo, so these two could be a pair of diabolical look-a-likes, who somehow slipped their photo into a box with 50 years of photos of my family!

Probably not, but you wouldn't think I would forget a print as.... these!

This is where the partnership of sisters comes to play. When my memory fails, I count on hers and vice-versa. So, I will be waiting to hear!

Where were we in this photo?

What are these garments that we are holding?

Did we ever wear them?

Did we think we looked good?

And lastly -

What were we thinking!?!

(Well, it was the 70's...)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What were they thinking....

Dearest Sister and I have written much lately, about our adoration and admiration we have always had towards our older sisters. I am confident that they enjoyed having two adoring baby sisters, as well.

This is Wisest sister and me in my first year with the family. See how we enjoyed each other? True sisterly love!

This is WS communing on the floor with DS, apparently discussing a book, expanding literary horizons and helping to develop an appreciation of fiction and non-fiction. Certainly she seems devoted to DS's academic well-being.

Whose idea was it then.....

to take DS outside - during a cold Canadian winter - with snow on the ground - with plastic bags to keep her hands warm!?!

And then took a photo of the evidence!!

No wonder DS is obsessed with woolen hand knits!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Taking the Train to Pratt - Greensburg 1961

One of the traditions at Greensburg Elementary School in the 60's was for the Kindergarten classes to take a train ride. My memory is that we rode the train to Pratt and visited the fish hatchery, but I may be confused. (Some times Dearest sister accuses me of blending memories of more than one occasion together.)

Mrs. Rader was the Kindergarten teacher - 30 kinds in the morning class (mine) and 30 in the afternoon. (I was born smack dab in the middle of the baby boom and there were a lot of us!) We all went together on the train ride.

We lined up as Kindergartners are trained to do. That's me in the center (it was my mother taking the photo, after all!) in the dark print dress with white cuffs on the sleeve. Robbie Belcher is in front of me and Marc Graves is two in front of her. Deana Banta is in the sleeveless top in the foreground. She and I were "best friends" in those years, and I think Jay Koehn is behind her in the plaid shirt. I am not sure of any others, although they all look familiar and their names are on the tip of my tongue.

My line apparently boarded last. As I said, I am not sure what the rest of the day held, but the evidence shows that I sure was looking forward to whatever was planned!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mentoring - or How I Learned to Sister

Dearest Sister has introduced me to The Sister Project, and she has introduced them to me (Easter 1959)!

TSP bloggers are very witty, articulate women who write exquisitely about sisterhood. I am still navigating the past three months of posts and they are all interesting and entertaining and most of them make me cry, many make me laugh.

I have written about my relationship with Dearest Sister here and here and she has written about our relationship here.

Much of what made us what we are today we learned from our other sisters. Two years apart with birthdays in May and June (just like DS and me) they were already in high school when I was born. When I came on the scene, DS was the sun around which the family revolved.

In this early family portrait, she is secure of her place in the center of things! (That is me trying to disrupt her place!)

Wisest Sister and Deeply Missed Sister in a self portrait (photo booth!)

As we grew up, we modeled the relationships that were most important to us.

We learned to lean on each other and to have fun together.

We travel together, but not as work. (although it was always our dream to follow that path and be half as glamorous!)

I am not sure if we learned eye rolling from them. It may be genetic. It certainly is a strong trait in the next generation!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Four of Seven -The Tea Towel Project

One more tea towel finished! I actually finished it while we were traveling last month, but I wanted to be ALL FINISHED before I posted any more photos. My hope was to keep my momentum going through the last one, which is actually underway, but has been ignored for 3 weeks, so this is an update, instead of the finish line.

This project has lasted waaaaay longer than I thought it would. Part of the reason is that my Dearest Sister changed her plans about gifting it for Christmas. It seems that the economic times compelled some in her family-in-law to re-think gifts in 2008. Without a deadline, it has been easy for me to pick up other projects, instead of focusing on finishing this one. I like the way they have turned out in regards to colors and stitching, but I should have started over with real flour sacks instead of the ready made towels that I used. They really are not as heavy as I like to stitch with. I have used some ready made towels that I liked, but these have been frustrating.

This is the latest finished towel.

The first two have already been sent off. (photos here )

As soon as I finish the other towel, I will send them all off to DS. Since the original gifting occasion has past, I am not sure if they will go to her MIL, but I will let her decide what to do with them.

Truth be told, I am a little tired of them, so if she wants to keep them for herself, or use them as door prizes for Bunco night, I am fine with whatever!

(I just don't want to see them being used to dry off the dog's feet when she comes in from the yard - she can use them for that if she wants, I just don't want to see it!)