Thursday, April 29, 2010

Redwork Color 'n Say

Speaking of colors, RED is my favorite, when it comes to embroidery. I began stitching these little squares as a 'car show' project a couple of weeks ago.
The designs are from a vintage coloring book, "Color 'n Say" published by Whitman in 1970. I reduced the images to 25% of the originals, and eliminated the name of each item (the 'say' part)
The white ground is flour sack fabric and measures 3.5" square.
I used one or two strands of DMC #815 red, which is a bit darker than what I usually think of for redwork. I picked the color to go with a vintage print from the stash, but when I pulled it out, I decided that it might not be 100% cotton. I went with this reproduction print, instead, and some 'rich red' Kona (still from the stash, though!)
All week, I have been thinking about how I wanted to put them together. I wanted to make this quilt a bit bigger, more of a baby quilt than a doll quilt. I still have four stitcheries to finish up, but I couldn't wait to see how it might look. I laid them out on the Kona and I think that I like the combination!

On Saturday, we will going to another car show and The Mister wants to be there by 6:30 am to get a good spot. So, I will be spending all day in the lawn chair. I should have plenty of time to finish stitching up the rest of the blocks.

In fact, I think I better round up another project to take. I wouldn't want to run out of 'fancy work' to keep me occupied!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cook's Paint Almanac - 1950

Color style fascinates me. There are people who can look ahead and see what colors will be fashionable and there are other people who are determining what colors are 'hot' each season. It is as much a science as an art. Part of the reason that I love vintage fabrics is that they do not change from in style to out of style. They remain vintage style!

This is a booklet about color, that floated to the surface, some time ago.

It is an advertising piece printed by the Cook's Paints (for farm and home). It is a calendar/almanac that begins in April 1950 and ends in March, 1951.

According to the almanac, April is the beginning of the "Spring Decorating Period". It is the month for "brightening up your rooms to match the wake-up spirit of spring". Some of the special days in April of that year are 'Pan-American Day' ( the 14th) and 'Southern Memorial Day' (the 26th).

The almanac suggests 'dramatic colors for the walls, pastel tints for ceilings and sparkling enamel for woodwork'. I love dramatic colors for walls. When we moved to the desert, the house we left had dramatic colors. The realtor chosen by the relocation company to tell us what our house was worth, said that the colors of the carpets and walls reduced the value of the house by many thousands of dollars. We disagreed...

I have been looking through some quilting books that I picked up at various auctions/estate sales/thrift stores, etc. The illustrations in the books from the 80's and 90's have examples of the projects made up in colors that look very dated. I remember when they were 'current', though, and that makes me hesitate to buy the newest fabrics that are in the quilt stores.

I guess that is why it is easier for me to stick with the vintage reproductions or the fabric lines that have a 'vintage feel'.

I wonder how old something has to be before we call it vintage, rather than just outdated!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Desert Doxies

One of the errands last weekend, took The Mister and I to downtown Henderson. As it happened, it was Heritage Days in Henderson, complete with parade!

Although it is the third largest city in Nevada, not too long ago, Henderson was the 'country cousin' to Las Vegas. It was often referred to, disparagingly, as 'Hooterville' or 'Hendertucky' and it still retains some of that small town flavor (which The Mister and I love!)

The parade had elementary, middle and high school bands, politicians riding in open convertibles, floats pulled by pick-up trucks and my favorite: The Desert Doxies!

Led by this young man with two dogs in a shopping cart, the Doxie contingent was one of the largest groups in the parade and the only one with dogs!
This one had the best ride, though! Cause nothin' says fun like a wiener dog in a wiener-mobile!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Storybook Trims Doll Quilt - Ta Da!

My Storybook Trims doll quilt top is finished!
It measures 16" x 19", at this point.
Here is a closer view of the top half, that has been finished for a couple of weeks...
And this is the bottom that I finished this past weekend!.

The last stitchery was the bee with the flower. The transfer design was not particularly sharp, so I needed to stitch it with natural light and rested eyes. I ended up doing it a bit free hand, just following the picture. The face is not as 'charming' as the one I did on a baby shirt, but I think the quilt is charming enough, without re-doing it.

I am going to dive right into quilting it, as soon as I find my hand quilting thread, (or give up and buy another spool.) I am following Martha's technique of using flannel as the batting, and I am backing it with more of the flour sack that I used for the borders and the stitcheries.

I have been reading up on different ways to quilt beyond 'in the ditch' and I think that I have settled on something that won't be beyond my skill set.

I think that I should have settled on the design before I basted it into a 'sandwich', though. I may decide that outlining or 'in the ditch' is just the thing!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Favorite Peeps

I am finally catching up on some 'keep as unread' blogs. When I am sneaking a peek through 'Reader' at work, I don't click over on links, due to security rules, so I defer them until I have time at home to take a look. (I suppose there is something wrong with having more free time at work, than at home...)

You may have already seen the results of this year's "Peeps Diorama Contest", but I just saw them today! I am amazed at the creativity and translation of current events into such clever vignettes. My favorites are the re-enactment of the famous wedding entrance dance that was such a huge You Tube fave and the "Triple Self Peep-trait by Norman RockPeep". Take a look, if you haven't!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Peak Bloom

I think that peak bloom in my little iris garden may be this week. Our highs are in the mid-80's and that really makes the blooms pop!

This year, all the plants are doing well. There is a palm tree between the planters and the sidewalk which gives a little shade, so even though it is a very small garden, there are micro climates, within.

Look at these party girls. I have not been able to track down the name of this one, but it has the most open blooms at once. Of course, that means it will be finished blooming earlier, but I am loving it while it lasts!
This is little 'Hell Cat'. It is the first one to bloom, and it is finished, already. It is one of my all time faves!
This is 'Spirit World'. This one does not always bloom. It is a little finicky, so I always appreciate it when I do get a bloom out of it. I probably shouldn't give it space, since it is so stingy, but it is so pretty!
This is another whose name escapes me. I know the face, I just can't put a name with it!

There are a few that still have no open blooms, so I should be able to enjoy them through next week, at least. Our spring is 'compressed' in the desert, so most people probably don't think it is worth the water that it takes all year, just for a couple of weeks of bloom. For me, though, it just wouldn't be spring without some iris!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Unique Little Cars in Arizona

This past weekend, The Mister and I attended the Southwest Unique Little Car Show, in Phoenix, Arizona. It was the 30th anniversary of the show, which alternates mostly between Arizona and California each year. The show does not have strict rules about what qualifies, but generally they hope to attract cars with smaller than 750cc engines, that are, well, unique. They don't have to be vintage. Modern cars that are unique are welcome and there are usually some modern Mini's or Smart cars.

It was a lovely setting! We were in a courtyard of an Embassy Suites, on the grass with lots of big shade trees, just next to the gigantic swimming pool.

My cutie-wootie little car was between a bug-eyed Sprite and a Velorex, across from a Goggomobil!

This is a Goggomobil Dart. About 700 Darts were built in Australia in '59 and '60. It looks like a cartoon car and has a cartoon name!

This is the front of the Goggo. What a goofy face!
This is a Czech car called a Velorex. It has a tubular steel frame, with canvas stretched over it. (No side curtain air bags...) This car is in mid-restoration. It is from 1971, I believe.
This is the interior. (No cup holders, either...)
This is not a vintage car. It is a future car - "The George Jetson Astro Cruiser", or Bug-E. It was built in 2009 and is all electric, built from a kit. Looks fun, don't you think?

This is an unrestored 1956 Fiat. It was so original, you wonder if it has the original air in the tires! Amazing that a car can look that good after 54 years!

We were in a class with about eight other BMW's, seven other Isettas and a BMW 600. The 600 is larger than the Isetta , with a back seat and a side door. (It's referred to as 'the limousine'.)We took third place in the class, much to our delight and surprise!

Surprise, because there are many micro-car enthusiasts who are purists, when it comes to paint colors and interiors. It was participant voting, though, so apparently, lots of folks prefer pure fun, over pure restoration!

It was a lovely day to sit outside and I made progress on some stitcheries.

More on that topic later!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Flora and Fauna in the Desert

We have had a very 'wet' winter in the desert this year. It is hard to say whether we will have a banner year for desert wildflowers, though. For really good bloom, you need a bit of rain in the fall, too.

I took some photos of the flora and fauna that we observed last weekend at Cottonwood Cove.

These are DYC's (darn yellow compositae). I don't know their real name, but I think that everywhere you go in the world has some version of DYC!

These pretty little white flowers were so bright and cheerful. Not much to look at in the way of foliage, but lovely flowers!

The desert prickly pears were in peak bloom in some elevations. I think the pink ones look like peonies - if you ignore the prickly part!

The fauna we came across were not really hardy desert species!

Begging carp at the dock. The water was so clear we could see the 40 or 50 fish come running (well, swimming) when they saw someone that they thought might have food to throw for them! They were sadly disappointed...

This little goat was picnicking with a family on the beach - along with the family horse and six dogs. Also, not native species, but fun to watch, playing with the dogs!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Bunnies and Chicks - Sort of...

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter!

The Mister and I went 'away' for the weekend. Not very far away, just camping at Lake Mohave, about 90 minutes from home. We went to Cottonwood Cove, which is about 30 miles below Hoover Dam. We had a very nice time, although The Mister didn't get to fish, as they do not allow fishing in the cove and it was too windy to hike out to the point.

So, we did a little exploring, played some dominoes and just hung out.

And I stitched up some of my favorite characters from the 1948 Simplicity "Storybook Trims"!

Thank you again, Martha! I have really enjoyed these designs!)

This time, I followed the photo as a guide to the colors, and I am loving the blue flower! I put a penny in the photo for scale.

I had not done this motif, before, due to the color changes. Since I was not putting this on a onesie, I decided that multiple knots would not be an issue.

I finished six designs, with six more still to complete. I couldn't wait until all the embroidery was complete to see how they would look in a little quilt.

I went back and forth, trying to decide what fabric to use. I finally settled on this piece of blue and white. I only had a 'fat eighth', so I wasn't sure that would be enough, but I even have a 2" x 9" strip left over!

I think the finished size of the quilt will be about 12" x 15". I plan to use white for the backing, probably a flour sack, since that is what I used for the stitcheries. I hope I can find something perfect for the binding, but I have some time, since I think that I will hand quilt this little project. Since it is small, I think it will be manageable, and certainly a portable project. I can't wait to see how it turns out!