Monday, May 24, 2010

Vintage Embroidery Transfers and Living Small...

Thank you all, so much for your encouragement! The Mister and I spent the last week doing our further 'looking into' and have come up with a plan! It does involve moving into the camper, but not until the end of this year. At that point, we will have 24 months left!

Yes, we have set a date for retirement! We did the math, (twenty different ways) consulted professionals, and I told my boss. So it is settled.

Of course, I may wind up with a 'second career' at some point, but that is a plan for another day...

In the meanwhile, we are going to spend the summer and fall downsizing, and moving things to storage at our retirement destination in Kansas.

Thinking about what things I will need in a very small space for 24 months (I know it is two years, but 24 months, sounds shorter!) is an interesting exercise. I will need clothes, but if I find myself without some necessity, there are all kinds of places to purchase whatever I might need. I will need some cotton yarn because travel knitting is almost always dishcloths. Again, not scarce, so if I underestimate, there are sources for more. Same with embroidery floss.

One area that will require much thought is books. I have a lot of books. Since I have some time, though, I am going through some of my quilting and craft books and scanning some projects so I can have them with me electronically.

It is hard to imagine, though, that if I had a hankering to start something, that I wouldn't be able to find a pattern or idea on line that would fill the bill!

And, in that vein, I have started scanning my vintage transfers, so that they will be available to me - and to you!

These bunnies apparently have stumbled across a nest of eggs. I wonder if one of them is the Easter Bunny, or if they are hoodlum bunnies that are plundering a chicken coop!

I love the yell-leader bunny! I can't quite figure out what he is wearing, though. Is it a tail coat that is flapping behind him? It doesn't look like he is wearing a coat, so maybe it is a scarf of some sort tucked into the waistband of his pants...

This little donkey cart reminds me of a plaster one that adorned our neighbors front yard when I was little! I think theirs usually had artificial flowers, though.

This one is another mystery. Is the bird decorating the hat, or has the kitty captured it? It kind of looks like he is licking his lips...

These are more of the Betty Burton group. (Since they are iron on transfers, they are meant to be reversed.) My scanner was covered in little flecks of the iron-on ink after I scanned them. I am glad that I have this incentive to do it, though. Some of them are kind of fragile.

I will upload them to my Flikr album and I plan to add more over the next few weeks. Or at least until my craft things get packed away!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chickens...and stuff

My mind has be all a-clutter for the past few days. The Mister and I have been weighing strategies for wrapping up the next few years in the desert and moving away from this Crazy Town in the Desert. We are anxious to move from here! It is not a very good fit for us, although my job here is great. Much better than the job situation before I was transferred.

I think I have mentioned that we bought our house the very last month of the housing 'exuberance'. The very next month the prices began to fall. And they have fallen very, very far. In order to leave here, we need to get rid of this house. We will never be able to sell it for what we owe. Not even close. So, we are thinking of alternatives.

One option that we are considering, is to downsize and live in a yurt with no running water and an outhouse.

Not really.

But we are thinking of reducing our housing expenses by living in our camper for awhile. Then we could save up enough to pay someone to take the house off our hands. Maybe a slightly bigger camper than the one we currently have, but not much bigger. Probably a total of 350 square feet of living space.

People in big cities around the world live in smaller places, so I think we can too. But it will take some adjustments.

For instance, I will have to stop buying things, because there will be no room to put anything extra. So no need to clip the coupon for Jo-Ann that comes in the Sunday paper. No shopping for yarn or fabric, and no craft books from the thrift store. Everything except the essentials would be stored for the duration.

And we will have to only buy food that we intend to eat within a few days.

I would have room for my little featherweight, and maybe a small box of fat quarters and another one of solid color fabrics. I am thinking that I could transfer embroidery designs to a few dozen squares of flour sack fabric and keep busy with embroidery.

And then we decide that it does not make sense, financially, to do it.

Then, one of us will say, "something else we could think about..." and off we go again, planning and trying to foresee the future.

It has been one of those things that crowds out any creative impulses, so I haven't had anything to share, lately. And, we still have more 'looking into' ahead, so it might be awhile.

So, here is a little chicken family that we saw at a car show in California.

Just something to get off the topic!

Just Mom, Dad, and the kids, enjoying a day in the park!

Teaching the kids which bugs are tasty!

And taking turns at keeping watch.

Maybe we could have chickens if we lived in the yurt...

Monday, May 17, 2010

On this day in history...

...Dearest Sister was born!

(Here she is pointing the way for me to follow, as usual!)
Last year, we enjoyed celebrating her birthday together, along with all her girlies. They schemed to surprise her by showing up unannounced, and were quite successful!
(Here they are, looking angelic, as usual!)
I wish I could be there, today!
Happy Birthday, DSis!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Weekend in California

This weekend, The Mister and I went to California. A car club that we are affiliated with, "So-Cal Galaxies", hosts a car show on Saturday before Mother's Day every year. It is an "All Ford" show and it benefits the Anaheim Police Department.
(Where else would you see so many Edsels in a row?)

We entered our Fairlane and won second in our class ("Fairlane and Torino - all years"). It was participant voting, so nothing scientific, but it is fun to get an award!

It was a long day at the show, but we were 'helpers' so I didn't get any stitching done.

We arrived in California early in the afternoon on Friday, so I convinced The Mister that we should go to IKEA. I wanted to show him some bookcases that I am forming a plan around, but my ulterior motive was to buy 'souvenir' fabric!

I bought one yard of the white with birds and a half of the grey with leaves. Both are quilt weight cotton. No plan for them yet, but lots of potential!

Then, I got a yard of this one:

It is a huge print in heavy home decorator weight. I really don't have any idea of what I will use it for, but it was just so fun, I had to have some! On the drive home, I decided that perhaps a little back pack or a tote bag might be just the ticket!

When it was all said and done, we both brought home something fun from the trip. The Mister got another plaque to add to the 'wall of fame' and I got fabric!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Redwork Color 'n Say Quilt

I finished piecing the Color 'n Say quilt and I am pleased with it!

I am also pleased at how much more 'exact' my piecing was on this project. I am always wondering if my seams are staying consistent enough for the corners to match. There is one row that is a bit off, but not enough for me to worry about. Years down the road, I may look back and wonder at my low standards, but for now, I am making progress, so I am not going to worry about 'perfection'.
The top two rows...

This quilt measures 30" x 38", so I think that is big enough for a baby quilt and I think red is a good color for an 'in reserve' baby quilt.

The bottom two rows...

I will post the images to my Flikr pool and add a link in the next day or so. I originally used a copy machine and reduced the images to 40%. I have lost track of some of them from carrying them around while I was working on it, so I will post the rest of the images when I find them. Or, I will copy them again!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Vintage Embroidery Transfers - 'For the Birds'

A fun thing happened in my 'blog-world' a couple of weeks ago.

Patty at Pip Stitch linked to the vintage embroidery transfers that I posted here and here in February. A couple of days later, an Israeli blog named Friendstitch, (written in French) linked to them, as well. Over the next few days, people from all over the world were visiting those posts!

I am a believer in the 'paying it forward' school of thought, and I have benefited greatly from the generosity of other bloggers from the very beginning of this journey. (Dearest Sister, particularly!)

I had no idea that so many people would be interested in the designs, but I realized that if I added the transfers to my

Flikr album, it would be easier for others to download and enjoy them. I added them to my photo stream and to the Hoop Love vintage embroidery pool.

One of the members of the Hoop Love group commented, and identified them as Betty Burton designs. I went through the group of transfers again, and I found this envelope and additional pages!

(After a little research, I found more information about Betty Burton transfers, here. )

The additional pages connected some of the dots regarding the motifs. There were more nursery rhymes to go with the Jack and Jill, and other themes, such as animals, 'baby' and 'His and Hers', etc.

Today, I am sharing some of the bird designs:

I love the cute tam on this ducklings head!

This little chick must have something to crow about!

I think this birdie is the quintessential symbol of spring!

I think this one is my favorite! It makes me think of a elementary school art project with pipe cleaner legs glued to a board and maybe a Styrofoam head with paper beak and 'dunce cap'(?)

I haven't added these to the Flikr pool, yet. I need to upgrade my account to be able to add more photos. I hope to get that done in the next day or two, though, so I can share these and the others, as I get them scanned.

It was really fun to have so many people from around the globe visit my blog, but the best part was being able to share something unique. The thought that those transfers were sitting in a box or on a shelf for so many decades (my grandmother died in the late 1940's)and now they are enjoyed by people around the world makes me really happy!