Tuesday, December 17, 2019

{Post 1,700} Wow!! #1,700

I am shocked that I have posted to my blog 1,700 times. That seems monumental.

I started renting a bookshelf at an antique/craft mall a couple weeks ago. I just gathered up quilted runners and some small quilts to put in it. Many ornaments were made. I have enjoyed it all. The owners asked me to consider having a booth instead of a bookshelf. I think that is a good decision because the bookshelf is poorly lighted. There is not room to display the runners or quilts very well. It is something I think about pretty much every waking moment. Mostly how to develop the look I want. I bought two wooden floor quilt racks at a thrift store last week. I also have a changing table that I have stored quilts on in my home that I plan to use for baby quilts. With Christmas so near, much of my otherwise spare time will be spent on preparing for that. My youngest daughter, her husband, and son (5 months old—whoo-hoo) will be staying with us for five days and nights (I can hardly wait), so I will have extra cooking and cleaning. All booth-related work will come to a standstill, and I’m fine with that!!

When I haven’t posted for a while, I always look back though my photos to see what I’ve been up to.

Here is a wood slice I hand painted for my selling space:

Next are two 12” square quilts I made from the same pattern, but with different fabrics. These are also at my bookshelf. They were still there today.

This happened before I got the bookshelf space to rent. This is my MIL’s first Christmas tree of her very own. My husband and I helped put it up, and I made her many ornaments.

The sign I made for the top of my shelf. Thinking about signage for the booth...

I love all the “Jesus” things about Christmas. I love the extra visiting with family. I love the cookies (I just had to make that clear). But when I stop to think that Christ left heaven to humbly dwell among men, it takes my breath away. Don’t ignore Him on His birthday. Trust Him as Saviour, and He will be the best Friend you have ever had.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

{Post 1,699} Vacation, Part Three

If you missed parts 1 and 2, go back and read those first so you get the whole experience chronologically.

This is our last day at our rented cabin. When my husband gets up, we are going to have breakfast, pack up, and head towards home. We have a couple stops we want to make. We are going on a sky taxi up the mountain in Gatlinburg. Then we are going to drive through Cade’s Cove. We have never done that.

A couple other highlights from last night. I did something that, to my knowledge, I’ve never done. I actually did it twice. Any guesses as to what it was? I’ll post it at the end so you have time to think about it.

We played pool in the cabin last night. I won the first two games, and my husband won the last one. I actually am a poor player, He scratched (sunk the cue ball) on the first two games. So I only won because he lost, but I’ll take it. I think my pitiful game did improve as we played. It’s all math. That’s what I get for marrying a math ed major.

At the ornament store, I was tempted (but did not succumb) to get an ornament depicting my new favorite fruit (I just ate my first one last week). It is a pomegranate. We eat the arils on yogurt. I add a little granola to mine. The color of the seeds (arils) is glorious. I learned how to remove the seeds in less than a minute per pomegranate. Exciting stuff.

Yesterday also included the Ripley’s Aquarium. I enjoy aquariums a lot. Haven’t been to many, but they fascinate me...especially the jellyfish. They look ethereal to me. I did not take a pic. Again. We took a glass-bottom boat ride over the large aquarium. It was daunting to step onto the glasss portion of the boat right as a shark swam under. Played with my mind a little.

So, what was my new adventure? I bought a purse. Actually, two of them. Did you guess? I only started carrying a purse when I started carrying a cell phone (and that’s only because it kept falling out of my pocket). I used a Longaberger-type basket as a purse for years (I just made a liner). Then I sewed my own purses until yesterday. I guess I’m growing up. 

{Post 1,698} Vacation, Part Two

I think I last mentioned going to the Dixie Stampede. It was the Christmas show. I always get teary when the show starts. The audio and the overwhelming impact of the visual just overwhelm me. I have always loved horses. They are so powerful and majestic. Here is a pic from the live nativity scene. The wise men arrived a little earlier than the actual two-year mark.

We came back to the cabin and did something very mundane, but necessary. We cut out the preschool paperwork for a couple hours. There are so. Many. Papers. Crafts, stickers, and take home papers. We watched a couple movies from the kitchen table and snipped away. Well, it had to be done!

Yesterday we did a little shopping (we are looking for a particular ornament that we did not find in spite of looking in 3 Christmas stores). We bought one ornament for ourselves to commemorate our trip and one for my MIL. She is having her first personal Christmas tree at a log cabin she just moved into recently. A nine-foot tree and a smackerel of ornaments. I am going to help her with that. I am making her lots of my paint stick ornaments seen here https://shelbystitcher.blogspot.com/2019/11/post-1696-catching-up-again.html. Black background—no glitter. I also brought paper (and used it all up) to make 9 of these folded German stars.  They are almost 3” across. I made some to sell with extra-fine glitter on them. My MIL is not a glitter person.

Another movie last night during my origami session. Now that I’ve memorized the steps to make them, I’m making a bunch. I got the metallic gold paper at Hobby Lobby. It looks best if the paper is the same on both sides as both sides are seen once the star is made.

Now for my new favorite attraction in Pigeon Forge. I did not take any pictures. I guess I was overwhelmed with the most scrumptious meal I have ever had along with an eye-popping show that had gymnasts, divers, trampoliners (is that even a word), a juggler, seals, and more. It was called the Pirate Voyage. The Christmas version. Included a live nativity (after Mary rode in on a donkey). Just amazing. The meal was phenomenal. Best I’ve ever had out. Started with a biscuit and creamy veggie soup. A lightly breaded fried chicken breast (very KFC-ish in taste—yum), mac and cheese (best I’ve ever had), a ham slice, and then the piece d’resistance...sweet potato casserole. It was finished up with a peach turnover. My lands. As I kept reading in the Paula Deen store, “Put some South in your mouth!” Ha ha.

{Post 1,697} Vacation

This whole trip happened rather spontaneously. My husband and I have been in Pigeon Forge, TN since Thursday afternoon. We rented a cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains. It has been lovely. The first evening was just packing out into the cabin and getting our belongings settled there. We went into town to eat at Paula Deen’s restaurant. It. Was. Fabulous. We looked through the gift shop a little after an amazing meal. The meal was served family style. We got 3 meats and 4 veggies. Small portions of each. If you desired more, you just asked your waiter. Then we each got a small dessert. My husband got the Pumpkin Ooey Gooey Cake, and I got the apple cobbler. Both good choices.

My hubby was showing me this sign he liked. I said, “But we don’t have cows!” He implied, “Well, then it will take them a while to get home.”

Of course I brought crafts to work on during the drive here and for those empty moments during the time we were in the cabin. I crocheted this coaster out of one-inch fabric strips then edged it in jute on the way up. I made several colors.

Yesterday we went to the Dixie Stampede. I thought that was my favorite thing to do here, but I have a new favorite that I will get to later. 

Friday, November 22, 2019

{Post 1,696} Catching Up Again

Life is going full-tilt. So much going on that I forget to blog about it. I have to look back at pictures to see what has been happening. I am not one of those that pull out their camera every moment, so even that is sketchy.

There have been several big things going on. I have been doing machine quilting for customer quilts so much more often than usual. Just finished six of them this past couple of weeks. I have one more customer quilt, but I am sure others will come.

Here are a few pictures of some of the ones I just finished.

Another thing that has been a blessing but takes lots of time is some medical treatments I’ve beeen having. Three days a week I go to a chiropractic clinic for adjustments and 3-4 other treatments. Found out that from the top of my neck to my toes, I have issues in every part of my spine, hips, and knees. That is slowly improving. I feel better than I have in years. I love the office, and especially my doctor. Trust him completely.

I am about to undertake something new for me. I am renting some space in an antique mall/craft emporium about 20 minutes from my house. I will go there a couple days a week to replenish my supply, change the display, and straighten it up. I should say I will be going. They expected me to be able to start that last week, but there has been a little delay. So it could be any day now. I’ve been feverishly making things for it, working on display ideas, etc. I have enough in my house to fill the space without making much. One thing I’m clearing out of my house is the left-overs handmade ornaments I’ve done through the years. I make my children and grandchildren an ornament every year, but for some reason I have a couple extras every year. Here are some of the ones I’ve made to sell.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

{Post 1,695} Coat Rack Going Up!!

Seriously. I have waited for this for so long...and it’s happening now! My husband is installing our coat rack in the foyer. Matching the church pew in the foyer was our goal for the stain color. DH brought up a picket to see how high on the wall we wanted the coat rack. He asked me to come and decide where to put it vertically on the wall. We had a hard time finding the picket. Can you see why?? I think it’s a fairly close match!

Here is the beginning of getting it on the wall. I made Million Dollar Casserole and mini pumpkin muffins with cream cheese icing when I wasn’t holding wood in place. He only needed help with the horizontal pieces.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

{Post 1,694} New Project in the Works

We have made a few changes to our living room/foyer (2 separate spaces) recently. My husband custom-built me a coat rack for the foyer that I have since painted and put above our couch to represent a mantel (ours was removed about this time last year along with our fireplace). I wanted a coat rack that was flush to the wall instead of jutting out like our previous one (although I loved it). I had my eye on something like these from Pinterest...

We have a church pew on the opposite wall. It was made when my husband’s grandfather was a young boy. His dad helped build a church. When the church was torn down, many descendants from those folks got to take a pew. My MIL gave me hers. It is perfect for that space, which otherwise would be a waste of space, IMHO.

Tonight I painted the wall where our coat rack is going to go. Here are the two walls in the foyer.

The kitchen chair is only out there because I stood on it to cut in the wall I painted. 

We are using some of our own old fence pickets to make the coat rack. More on them tomorrow.

Monday, October 21, 2019

{Post 1,693} Second Vintage Quilt is Machine Quilted

A couple weeks a customer brought over two vintage quilts. This is the second one I’ve quilted. It has so many interesting vintage fabrics.

Here it is hanging over the edge of my quilt frame:

I am curious about the seamstress. It is all sewn by hand. I think she started at one side of the quilt and assembled the rows. The reason for this is because all the blocks with an odd piece are in the last two rows to the right. Here’s what I mean:

See the fabric substitutes? Also, her work fell off in the last two rows. The rest is virtually perfectly pieced. Then there are many blocks in the last two rows where the piecing is (while still lovely) less than stellar in quality. It could be that two people pieced the quilt...a teacher and an apprentice. If only fabric could talk!

Here is a block that is so ugly it is beautiful:

The middle square finishes at one inch square. But there are several places where a background fabric is pieced. I have done this in my quilts, but it is because I am frugal. I guess that was the case back then, too.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

{Post 1,692} Craft Obsession

So, probably due to the recent pumpkin overload, I am obsessed with crafts. But I have enough self-control to redirect that, because I NEED to be obsessed with laundry, meals, and other parts of life!!

I had seen a tutorial for making cards from napkins. On a recent trip to my daughter’s, one of her friends, who is one of my followers, gave me some napkins with pumpkins on them. I wanted to make some note cards, but I did not want to buy the envelopes. Yesterday I was at Aldi, and I got a box of 50 cards with envelopes for $1. I didn’t like most of the cards, but 2 cents for an envelope? Yes, please!

Today, I took one of the napkins and turned it into a note card. I did not find the tutorial very helpful. You know how it is...you watch a tutorial on YouTube, and it looks so simple. But when you go to start it, you suddenly have all kinds of questions that were not addressed on the video.

But, it was so simple. I cut white card stock to the finished size I wanted (that would fit into my nearly-free envelope). I used a bone folder to make a fold line and folded it (duh!).

I had already cut my napkin and Cling Wrap (hello, Dollar Tree) a little larger than the front of the card. Next, I layered Cling Wrap on the card stock card.

Next, the napkin (only the decorated ply...most napkins are 2- or 3- ply...remove the white layers) was centered on the Cling Wrap.

Then lay a piece of white copy paper over the whole enchilada and iron with a dry iron until the Cling Wrap melts (it will stick to the copy paper. This is after I trimmed away the tiny bit of napkin and Cling Wrap. It looks so cool...like linen. I love it! Thanks, mystery friend who donated the napkins.

Sometimes I wonder about me, but I have a compulsion to reveal at this time. I l-o-v-e seasonally decorated napkins. I had an aunt that would buy me sets when I was first married...Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving...no holiday was safe. We used some of them, but I KEPT THEM ALL!!! I see a long and glorious future of making my own cards. Vintage Easter Card? I got you, girl!!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

{Post 1,691} Pumpkins Galore!

A week ago today, my daughter-in-law and I went to a class to knit large pumpkins. Here we are at the end of the class:

I am holding two. The orange one is a wrapped version. 

A few days later I started making these from upcycled sweaters. They are so cute. 

A long-time friend bought five of them from me and created this on her dining room table. Is it obvious she stages homes for a realtor for a living?

My husband was gone Monday through Friday for work training in Texas (we live in NC), so it was a lot of free time for me to create pumpkins and quilts. A customer brought over two vintage quilts. I started machine quilting the first one after spending six hours attaching a border on it to make it square. It is so beautiful. 

Monday, September 30, 2019

{Post 1,690} Hoping the Temperature Will FALL

We have finished phase 3 of the foyer/living room switcheroo. I put up all my fall decor tonight (except for a missing quilt) in hopes that the climate would take the hint, and the temperature would fall as well.

Phase one was relocating the quilt hanging rod to the opposite wall in the living room.

Phase two was completing the new table top for the console table, seen here, now decorated for fall.

Phase three was removing the coat hooks from the foyer coatrack/shelf, adding a carved rope piece to hide the screw holes, then painting the whole thing “Turkish Coffee” brown, which obviously is in the same color family as our leather couch.  Voila’!! Here’s a before, just for fun, with the shelf resting ON the couch...

Here is the after:

Last, but not least, is the table one faces when they come in the front door...

Phase four is building then hanging a new coat rack in the foyer.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

{Post 1,689} Table Top Is Nearly Ready!!

Last night and today I worked on staining and sealing the finished console table top. Here are some pictures that I hope end up in order. First is the original table:

Here is the top as I started applying the stain:

In my limited experience, staining is a crap shoot. Every type of wood receives stain differently. This one (although it looks even and sweet in the above picture) did not take the stain evenly. You will see what I mean in the next picture. There were a couple spots that for no reason, did not accept the stain.

This would not have been a problem since it will probably always have a runner of some kind, but it was right near the front edge of the table.

Here is the after. I ended up using acrylic, cheap, craft paint of a matching hue. It was still touch and go, but it looked much better.

And here it is after four coats of Polycrylic. I am going to bring it upstairs so I can decorate it tomorrow. So excited to put some pumpkins on there!!