Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Decorations Bring Christmas Memories

In 19978, I did a table at a Christmas craft botique in Powell, and one of the items that sold well were these little Santas (or Santa's elves, whichever you like.)  These are the only four I have left, but they come out every year to keep the winter teddy bear company as she sits in her miniature wood-turned chair.
 The lighted glass block with the silhouette of the Three Wise Men was made by Brittany many years ago when the family lived in Lewisville.  It comes out every year and reminds us of her.  The bowl full of glass balls reminds us of a patient of Ron's in Tumwater, who was a glass blower.  He invited us to his house - he had a glory hole in his garage, and we learned how to make glass balls.  Ours were pretty small, but we purchased some of the other beautiful things that he had.  Nice Memories.
And, last of all for today's memories, are the scroll-saw Christmas cut-outs that Dad made when he had his shop on 93rd south of Tumwater.  They go up every year in the sidelights in the front door.  Without memories, these Christmas decorations are special, but the memories make for a nice remembrance of past Christmases.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Traditions - Santa Clauses

This is part of my Santa Claus collection.  History behind these is:  Top picture - Blue coated Santa and Red Santa were made by me when we lived in Tumwater.  The paper mache old-fashioned Santa is one that Ron had when we were married - it's very old, and a little of the paint is chipping off, but definitely a keeper.  The "Alaska" Santa with the fur I found in a craft bazaar in Tumwater in the mid-80's.  In the bottom picture, the first Santa on the left was whittled out by a man from Olympia by the last name of Nelson (he was a furniture re-finisher whom Ron knew). He had retired to Arizona for the winters, and we went to a wood whittler's exhibit where he was demonstrating, and we bought this Santa form him.  The next two (one is a little hidden) are painted by Julia.  The trees were a gift form a neighbor, and the last is a Santa hanging on a stand.  There are more Santas around the house, but these I grouped together.
One of the nice things about Christmas is getting out old Christmas memorabilia, because the memories associated with them are very precious.

Christmas Cheer from Daughters

Our east-coast daughters, Dorothy and Sara, and their families cheered us up with this lovely Christmas arrangement.  It keeps on looking wonderful, even though we've had it since the 18th of December.  Adds to the Christmas Spirit.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Antiques Repurposed as Pincushions for Christmas

One of the fun things about the internet is that ideas keep flowing.  Pinterest had some wonderful ideas for making pincushions out of lovely teacups and saucers and other items.  I just happened to have the old yellow sugar bowl, which was just sitting on a shelf, and thought it was time to share it, so this is the result.
Ann now owns the sugar bowl.

I also had a couple of other little antique dishes that I turned into pincushions:  Couldn't decide what this dish is called, but it made a pretty pincushion for Judy with a handle to carry it around.

And last, but certainly not least, this little creation was sent to Louise.

I had so much fun making these presents for my sewing sisters!  

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Snow for Thanksgiving

So, this is what happens to  a panorama photo - be sure to enlarge it so that you can really see it.  The weatherman was correct - it did snow during the night - The sundial measured about 6 inches - no wind, so everything came straight down.  The disadvantage?  Ron had so shovel and use the snow blower.  Starting to melt this afternoon, although temp was below freezing all day.  Last year, he only used the snow blower once - maybe this will be a different winter.  We were thankful for many things today, especially that we live in this peaceful place for now.

Flowers from Julia and Mike to Celebrate Thanksgiving

My pictures didn't emphasize the red roses in this bouquet - just love the sunflower, now that winter is here.  These flowers really cheered up our week.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The First Snowmen of the Season

About a week and a half ago, we had our first mini-snowstorm.  Our neighbor's children go to school very early - leaving home around 7:45 am (in the almost-dark), but somehow they managed to make snowmen out of the available snow.  The smallest one represents the brothers' little sister, who is around five.  Enlarge the pictures so that you can see details.  We look forward to winter with some dread, not liking to think of snow removal and bitter cold.  These kids look forward with zest to a different season and all of the activities available.

March Block for My Calendar Quilt

At Last!  I finally finished the March block for my Piecemaker's calendar quilt.  The tree is called "Liquid Ambler", or, Ron tells me, a sweet gum tree, which is not native to Idaho.  I like doing the center blocks, but the most fun comes whenI work on the creative corners, which are done in crazy quilting.  I've begun work on the April block, which will be a cherry tree in bloom.
   These blocks are big (17" x 17"), so I'm trying to decide whether to finish each block to hang individually for the appropriate month, or to go all out and make a huge quilt.  Still working on that idea, but at this rate, I'll have a long time to make that decision.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

January and February Blocks for my Calendar Quilt

 I've already posted the above block, but after reading about crazy quilts, I realized that I had left something out.  It is sometimes a custom to include important dates in the blocks, so I put in Ron's birthday and our anniversary.  Maybe there should be more - we'll see.
And, February is finished!  Be sure to click on the pictures to enlarge them.  There is at least one animal in each of the blocks.  This is taking me so long, as I sandwich these fun blocks in between other projects and "things to do", but I'll eventually get it all done - I think.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

School Days - The Good Old Days

Dave Bonner, a Powell High School alumnus from sister Judy's class, published this picture, along with a nostalgic writing about the Powell schools that no longer exist.  My siblings and I all have memories of these school buildings.  The old Eastside school was quite a building.  As you can see, the bell tower was prominent, and the ringing of the bell at the beginning of the school day and at the end of every recess was a signal that the children would line up at either the front doors, under the arch, or the east doors, which are not shown in this picture.  My first grade class was on the first floor,  with windows visible behind the merry-go-round.  My second grade was in the northwest corner at the back of the building, in a room where our mother also taught; third grade was upstairs at the top of the east stairs, and my fourth grade room was above my first grade room.  Louise also taught in this school, but I don't remember her room.  I spent my first four years of school in this building.

When you entered the building at the front entrance, there was a big staircase leading up to the second floor.  The wooden floors were polished.  Each first grade room had a "cloak" room, where our coats, overshoes,  and lunch boxes or sacks were stored.  Sometimes by noon, the smell of bologna or some other lunch box contents would become pretty pungent.  We didn't care - it all tasted good.  Some years, there was cafeteria service in the basement of the high school, and, no matter what the weather, we all donned our coats, etc, and were herded there.

I especially remember the playground equipment with fondness.  This was my first contact with anything but our rope and board swing at home in Penrose.  All you can see here is the slide (metal bottom, but I loved it), and the merry-go-round.  First and second grades had recess early, so the little kids would hurry to get on it before the older children got recess.  (They pushed too fast, and it made me dizzy.)  Sometimes the kids would get inside and make it go faster and faster.  The swings and monkey bars are not visible in this picture.  I loved the swings - we would swing high and then jump out, with the feeling like we were flying.  The monkey bars, I avoided - because girls were required to wear dresses (with long brown stockings), when you hung by your knees, your underwear showed, and I knew that wasn't the proper thing (Mother's teachings.)

The middle building was called The Middle School, with fifth and sixth grades on the first floor and seventh and eighth grades (Junior High) on the second floor.  (Another four years in this building.)  This building seemed more modern than the old Eastside building.  And the far building is a partial picture of the east side of the high school, creatively named Powell High School.  I went through four years of high school - some painful memories and some good memories, and then returned to teach for another three years in what was now the Junior High School.  My first year was spent teaching English (Language Arts) in what was Edith Harkins' English room when I was in high school.  The floors (still wood) creaked - the book storage room for the entire school was next door to my room, and I sometimes wondered if the floor could support all of that weight.  I taught three years in all in the old high school building, with the other two years being on the second floor, team teaching English, before I returned to Elementary School at Parkside.  Before I left Powell Schools, I had taught in Parkside, Westside and Southside.  There have been lots of changes since then!  But the above picture certainly brings back memories!  Thanks, Dave

Thursday, August 6, 2015

I Get to Quilt at Heritage Days at the Academy in Preston

Saturday was Heritage Day at the Academy.  Crafters worked in the main room on the first floor.   The temperature was around 94 degrees outside, but we were perfectly comfortable in this old stone building with very thick walls.  In the room where I worked, there was a butter churner, a rope maker, a bobbin lace maker, a weaver, and an opportunity for little girls to make pioneer dolls, and for children to braid strips of fabric into bracelets, belts, etc.
People could watch a narrated slide show about the building, and there was an amazing amount of scrap books, pamphlets, and books about the area and the Academy.
There is still a need for contributions to finish this wonderful old building.  The things that have been done to it since it was moved to this place are wonderful, but there is much that needs to be done to finish the inside.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Summer Posies are Blooming

 This rose is my "King's Special" - a barefoot rose that was in a bin by the checkout counter at our local variety store.  I bought it around 18 years ago, and every year, it faithfully bears beautiful roses that even stand up to the pressure of the water sprinklers.
The first tree lily that grows in front of the porch is in bloom.  It stands around seven feet tall, and the fragrance is wonderful!

 And this hanging basket with vining geraniums is one that I wintered over in the garage by a south window.  It is just beginning to hit its stride in blooming - nice dividends to the small amount of watering it took through the winter.
And, be sure to enlarge this picture of the lilies in bloom - the reflections in the bay window behind it are rather interesting.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Metamorphosis of Gardening

 Last spring when Ann posted the information about growing plants in bales of straw, I was pretty interested - so just to see if it would work, Ron got me two bales of straw.  I roughed up the middle area, and put lots of composted soil in and when things got warmer, planted seeds of zucchini and yellow crookneck squash.  Germination was extremely slow - When only one zucchini plant (probably enough) came up, I put in more seeds.  Now, plants are growing, but they are behind.  We'll see what kind of production I get.  The zucchini are a bush variety, but if the yellow crookneck really grow, I'll add a trellis on one side of the bales.
 I bought this tomato plant solely on its name - "Box Car Willy".  When I lived in Powell, there was a town character who roamed around town with that name.  I had to see if this plant would be more productive.  It is very lush, but is not producing many blossoms, and until I took this picture, I thought there were no tomatoes.  However, if you click on the picture to enlarge it, you will see that there is one tiny tomato hiding in the bush.  Another Find Waldo.  Success????
And last, but not least, the sunflower is busy following the sun.  Eight years ago, I planted two wonderful rows of exotic sunflowers of all kinds.  There were chocolate ones, gold ones, orange ones, short ones, and 7-foot tall ones, and I loved them.  However, when fall came and Ron had to clean them out, he swore that never again could I grow crops of sunflowers.  He had to take the ax to some of the thick stems.  However, in the intervening years, there are always one or two volunteers in what has shrunk to a tiny garden, and just to prove that he is a little sentimental, he allowed this one to prosper.  It smiles on our day.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Making Fabric From Fabric

 The fabric above is made from the pieces cut out from the fabric below. Now, I'm in the process of embellishing this one.
 This piece was made by drawing a design, then layering four layers of different fabrics.  Then, using a seam ripper, taking out each succeeding layer, leaving around 1/4" border of each of the fabrics that are in the stack.  This technique was taught in a Craftsy class, and I made this just to see if I liked the technique.  Actually quite liberating to make something without measuring or worrying about mistakes.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

First Block of My Piecemaker's Calendar Quilt

This block is for January - The tree is a Hawthorne tree - doesn't grow in Idaho, but isn't it pretty?  Don't know which was my favorite part - embroidering the scene or doing the crazy quilt corners.  More to come - February is on it's way.  Don't think I'll finish this in one year in between all of my other projects.  This is something to sit and play with when we watch TV in the evenings, or whatever. Please click on this block to enlarge it.