Friday, July 30, 2010

Thrifty Thursday Pewter Find

On Wednesday I once again visited my “1/2 Price Lady” at our old Rose’s Antique Mall.  Sure enough there was another classic find for me...five pewter cups of which three of them were Jefferson cups.  The other two had precious little handles on them.  They were each priced $3.00 so I got them for $1.50 apiece. Why the sellers put those horrible sticky while labels on them I do now know because they’re almost impossible to get off. Oh, well, I finally got them cleaned up, polished them, and they are all in use. Oh, Happy Day!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Here is a real hodgepodge of reds for you. They range from our tomatoes and our precious granddaughter (on the right) and her best pal to sites around the county, one of my quilting squares for the “Rainbow Around The Block” charity project, and my most special red pendant made my Vicki Anderson at Cherry Chick.  I bought two of her Mary Engelhreit inspired pendants and they are my favorite things to wear. Click on the pictures to get a larger version. 

“An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while a pessimist sees only the red stoplight...the truly wise person is colorblind.”
~Albert Schweitzer

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rainbow Around The Block Phase II Complete

As you all know I am taking part in the “Rainbow Around The Block” charity quilting project sponsored by Anna Maria Horner for the flood victims of Tennessee.  We all sent in our first 2 blocks on July 1, and second set is due August 1, and the last ones are due September 1.  That way Anna, along with her many kind and loving friends, will be able to assemble all of the quilts so the needy recipients can have them in time for cold weather. The pattern for the squares is Isabela’s Argyle Quilt Block. Each of my squares is made from Amy Butler fabric and consists of four 7 1/4 inch squares cut on the diagonal one time and then on the diagonal one more time yielding 16 triangles.  It is a wonderful pattern, very easy to follow, and I really like the colors and prints of fabric.  I was so careful this time to cut the squares to the correct measurements and then to cut the diagonals as evenly as possible. Before I went to sew the triangles together,  I used some wonderful adhesive called “505 Adhesif Temoraire Polyvalent" made in France instead of pins to hold the designated pieces together, and it is the greatest thing since Santa Claus.  The can was pretty expensive- I paid full price for it - butyou can find it for $12.99, and it will certainly made sewing your seams so much easier. If you would like to see photos of all of our quilt blocks, go the the "Rainbow Around The Block" Flickr Group Pool site.
Here you see I used the same fabrics for each square but in a different configuration.

“Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance."
~St. Francis of Assisi

Sunday, July 25, 2010

An Evening Walk in the Country Mosaic Monday


While reading some of the blogs I love to follow, I came upon “Mosaic Monday” at Little Red House. Stop by for a visit and you will find links to many wonderful collages and mosaics.  They are all so beautiful. I enjoyed them so much, I decided to start participating along with my most special M.E. Mondays over at Cherry Chick.

Each morning and evening I TRY to walk a mile either on the road in front of our house or around the track at my old school.  This night I did a bit of each because it wasn’t too hot, the colors in the sky were gorgeous, and I wanted to take some pictures along the way.  The moon was popping out its shining face as you can see in the first shot. The old home place and outbuilding are still standing, but it is a miracle. The way the old wood and paint have weathered always catches my eye.  Cattle sometimes graze in the fields and sometimes wander down the highway without a care in the world, but no one has lived in the house for as long as I can remember. The last picture is one of the views I enjoy as I walk around my old middle school track.

“Change like sunshine, can be a friend or a foe, a blessing or a curse, a dawn or a dusk.”
~William Arthur Ward

A Pastel M.E. Monday

A week ago I went into a precious local gift shop called “Sunday’s Child” looking for some Mary Engelbreit notecards. When I went over to the shelves where Lucia always kept the M.E. things, the cupboard was almost bare.  The news was bad.  The store is not going to be carrying her gift items anymore because it is too small to compete with the larger shops and Michael’s. I was crushed.  Immediately I began searching the shelves looking for any little treasures that might be left.  I was a very bad girl and bought up a number of things I did not need but could not resist.  Here are two of them.

This is a darling little teapot I am enjoying each day. The argyle-like green, geometric pattern with the dots in the centers really appeal to me, and the flowers going around the rim are just too cute.  There is a tiny chip on the spout so Lucia let me have it for 1/2 price....that really put a great big smile on my face!

The second thing I got was this teapot box and have named it my “Teapot-Hatbox”.  The colors are so bright and cheery as are all of M.E.’s things, and it is large enough to really hold a bunch of stuff. If we still wore pillbox hats, I would certainly have room in it for one.

The words going around the box say...

~Emilie Barnes

Friday, July 23, 2010

Furoshiki Bag for the Beach

Yesterday while I was reading through the blogs I follow, I came upon a tutorial at annekata’s blog for this great little carry-all picnic or beach bag.  It is a quick, easy to make, super last minute gift. Because it was such horribly hot weather today, I needed something to keep me busy inside besides reading “Eat, Pray, Love” After looking at the tutorial, I decided to hit my quilting scraps and see if I could come up with enough of a single fabric to pull one off for a trial pattern.  The fabric I found was only a 36” square, not as large as the tutorial called for, but I went with it anyway.  The pony tail thingies were pink ones little Eloise left here over the weekend so I used them.  I did hand hem the square simply because I am so old I love and prefer hemming by hand! Mine is pretty crude compared to the one on the blog, but now I am ready to go to the quilting shop, pick out some really attractive fabric, have it be 43” square or so, and I will embroider the edges after I hand hem them. When you are 71, it is always a good idea to do a dry run practice piece before you sit down to make it out of good material as a gift. I am going to make one for my daughter and each of my two daughter-in-laws to use when we all meet at the beach for our family reunion in August. Give it a will not be disappointed.

I hand hemmed my square, spread it out, and placed in the center my beach towel, book, and sunscreen.

                   I rolled it on the diagonal until the “V” at the end was on the top.

Here I pulled the two side tails taut and placed the ponytail thingies around each one.

Next I tied the two side tails together in a knot.

My completed Furoshiki Over-the-Shoulder Beach Bag!

Update....Friday.....I just got back from the quilting shop with 3 pieces of BEAUTIFUL Amy Butler fabric to make the Furoshiki bags.  I have already started on the blue and green one and am in the process of embroidering the hem. Here are the fabrics.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Friday Favorites

Tuesday morning it was sunny but not too hot, so I decided to put on my hat and sunscreen and take a hike up on North Mountain to look for bugs and butterflies and play with my camera. It is a favorite spot for Buddy and me as it is only about 15 minutes from our house. How lucky we are to have such beauty so close by... lots of trails and out-of-this-world views of Virginia and West Virginia. Here are a few of the pictures I took including a moth and a frog...I could’t resist including them. Be sure to click on the mosaic so the shots will be enlarged and you can see the beauty of these magnificent creations of nature. The grouping as it appears here on Blogger just does not do them justice. Many thanks to Vicki over at Cherry Chick for suggesting I use my butterfly photographs for this week’s “Friday Favorites”.

Purple Lattice Quilt Completed!

This week I decided to finish another of my quilt tops from the “To Do Basket”. Entering another period of high temperatures I had a choice:  sweat outside or sew inside in my one air-conditioned room.  Obviously, I went with the second. It was just about a year ago that I pieced together the top of this Lavender Lattice Quilt. I started out following the pattern of one of the “Baby Block” quilts but then went off on my own tangent using muslin and a lavender Moda jelly roll.  Since it was one of my first attempts at cutting (with a rotary cutter) and piecing in over 40 years, there are places that are not as straight and aligned as I would prefer, but it was a good learning project and in the end you really cannot see the irregularities unless you go looking for them.  I know this is not the usual way to baste the sandwich together, but it works the best for me.  I thread baste the top to the batting, and then I pin the backing to those pieces putting in the pins from the top. For this quilt I stitched 1/4 inch on either side of the seams and bound it with one continuous piece.  It fits my little kitchen table perfectly and even looks nice on my dining room table. I love using lap size quilts on that little table, and because both the kitchen and dining room are lavender I chose these particular colors.

Rednesday a Day Late

I may be a day late, but here is my FAVORITE baseball cap. My daddy always loved his baseball....he would have the TV with one game going, and two radios around and about with other games.  Dare I speak a word even softly during those games.  When I was a little girl and we were on a trip to see family friends in Shaker Heights, Ohio, he took me to a Cleveland Indians game and I was hooked.  Upon marrying Buddy, I had NO CHOICE but to become a Yankees fan, and that I am hard core.  I have all sorts and colors of Yankees’ caps, but I have to admit this is my favorite because it is RED!  I have never tried to take a photo of myself with my own camera so I cut off the rest of my face, but here it is.  Tuesday we lost our internet due to a horrible lightning storm so I am a bit late posting, BUT thanks to the sponsor of our wonderful Rednesdays and Vicki at Cherry Chick reminding me when the net came back up to post ASAP.... I am posting LATE! GO YANKEES!!!!!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Telephoto Practice Flower Mosaic

Year before last I sponsored our middle school yearbook and had the opportunity to use a Canon EOS Rebel XSi. Then last year I went through a hugh “camera withdrawal” having to do back to my point and school Canon.  Finally, about 6 months ago I decided to treat myself to the same camera - which incidentally is not being made anymore - which came with a fine Canon EFS 18-55mm lens. I used it until about a month ago when I ordered a refurbished Canon  EFS 55-250mm lens. Well, it is the greatest with a magnification from afar which is unbelievable.  These are all flowers from around our house using Big Blue Labs Mosaic Maker - I followed the tutorial from Little Red House entitled  “Making Photo Mosaics: A Tutorial.”  Also, and so VERY important, Vicki over at  Cherry Chick has been the best teacher in the world for me.  Her patience and continual help with my blog is greatly appreciated. She is so patient with my being so slow at catching on!  If you have not checked out her blog be sure to do so RIGHT NOW!!! She is even having a give-away which is especially nice of her. Click on the “Cherry Chick” above and you will go right there.

“You don’t take a photograph.  You ask, quietly, to borrow it.”
~Author Unknown

Sunday, July 18, 2010

M.E. Monday in Pictures

These two little frames go back many years and they are the worst for wear....scratches and some chips, but they are still some of my favorite M.E. things.  The photo of me heaven only knows how long ago that was taken....I surely do no look like that anymore.  The one of Buddy with Willy (on the left and now a junior at St. Andrew’s School in Deleware) and Crenshaw (on the right who just graduated from St. Andrew’s and is on his way to the University of Maryland to study chemical engineering) is REALLY OLD!  I am funny about pictures like these.  I do not like to update them with photos from the present. There is something somewhat special about leaving the old pictures in the frames in order to be able to reflect back upon the past in our lives.  I LOVE M.E. FRAMES! They are my favorites.  Happy M.E.Monday to all of you. 

“There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.
~Ansel Adams

The Grandchildren Come to the Creek for a Cool Weekend

It was so hot in Richmond Eloise and her mommy and daddy came home to the creek to cool off. Then Uncle Andy drove down from Maryland to pick us her cousins Willy and Henry from Camp. They all ended up here at the house and we had a GREAT time. Now they have all gone home, and the house seems VERY empty and a bit sad and lonely. The good news is Baga only has a month until we will all gather at the beach for a family reunion.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Stangal Thrifty Thursday

All I can say about this purchase is it was one in a million where I was at the right spot at the right time with the right amount of money in my bag! As usual, I stopped by our little antique mall/thrift mall to see if any REAL bargains were lurking within all of the dust.  Well, this one was a true jackpot.  When Patricia married my son, Gene, she brought to the marriage a lovely collection of Stangal pottery.  She is the QUEEN of thrifty shopping along with her next door neighbor, Liz, and what a lovely collection she had.  It was so nice Gene built her a cabinet with lights in it for displaying all the pieces. From that point on I would always look for little pieces to add to her collection, but usually they were priced WAY out of my spending allowance.  A couple of times I lucked up on some very small pieces which I could afford, but that was it.  Then I hit the motherlode, but this time it was for me! These are of the sweet "Country Garden” pattern and are pretty well mixed and matched.  When you hear the price you will understand why I gobbled them up without any hesitation.  My little “dollar lady” had a bunch of china and misc. odds and ends of dishware in her stall with a small sign marked simply "1/2 off!” As I was looking through it all, I spotted a collection of similar pieces of pottery which appeared to be Stangal. Sure enough it was, and the original price was $ do the math, and at 50% off it comes out to be $12.50.  I was in such a state of shock I went up to the owner of the mall and had him come back and check it out because I was not believing my eyes.....sure enough, I was right.....$12.50 for ALL of it! END OF STORY.  I bought it, am using it all the time and loving it, and am NOT giving it away to anyone. Now, I am looking for more of the Country Garden pattern to add to it.....good luck, Genie.  I bet I’ll pay through the roof this time unless I am willing to wait and wait ’til I find another REAL bargain...don’t think there are many of them out there like this one!  Happy Thrifty Thursday to all of you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Rural Rednesday from Rockbridge County, VA.

All of these photos were taken within 15 miles of our home out in the country. They represent an interesting cross-section of how red appears in all of our scenrey. Just click on the mosaic and you will go directly to my Flickr page...if you click on it there, you will get an ever larger picture. I’m determined to master this mosaic thing, but it can really be confusing at times.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I Finished My Pink Posey Quilt and Reached My Goal! HURRAH!

I worked and worked over the weekend, and last night at 11:47 PM, I FINISHED IT, and I remembered to sign it on the back using left overs of my binding for the borders. This afternoon I hung it on the wall in my bedroom so I can see it each morning when I awaken. I can’t believe I did it!  Never have I had the nerve to attempt to stipple a quilt using the darning foot with the feed dogs down on my Brother.  I’ve either quilted by the “stitch in the ditch” method or done it all by hand. All I read kept telling me I was going to have to take the plunge and just do it if I was ever going to get the knack of free hand stippling.  I sort of cheated a bit - I used invisible thread so all my mess-ups would not be so obvious.  Only at the very end did I try stitching using the on/off button and not the foot pedal...and I think that is what I should have done from the beginning to end up with my stitches all the same length. I did much better that way, and it seems I was also able to get the rhythm of moving the fabric up, down, and all around.  The key MUST be to keep the speed remaining the same and NOT pulling or pushing the fabric harder in one spot than the other.  If any quilters read this and have some suggestions-corrections-additions that will help me, PLEASE let me hear from you.  I would love to hear from you, and I won’t get my feeling hurt if you tell me I have got it all wrong. Also, if you have any suggestions on how to photograph completed quilts, I would love to know that, too. Anyway, now I can go to sleep tonight and not worry if I am going to finish it by the weekend because I did it.  I am such a happy little old quilter today!

~Our lives are like quilts - bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love.
Author Unknown

~Blessed are the children of the piecemakers for they shall inherit the quilts!
Author Unknown

M.E. Monday Is Upon Us Again

Birthdays have always been a BIG think with me since the birth of my 3 children.  The day of their birthdays was always “THEIR DAY”, and each one could have his or her own way all day long. It was a BIG DEAL and so much fun. Whatever their demands I granted. The other thing I did and continue to do is, in addition to their present, I give them their birthday number in dollars though I think I am going to put a cap on that one at 50...which is not that far away. They always had carrot cakes as children, and Gene, my 39 year old “baby” still gets one to this day.  He lives in Richmond which is only 2 1/2 hours from here so we try to have a celebration for him here on the creek...that way he gets 2 birthday parties...all the better for Eloise, his little 5 year old and my only granddaughter. Why carrot cakes I do not know, but it is now a family tradition with Gene, Buddy, and me. For my 71st in February little Eloise treated her Baga to these precious shiny placemats and Birthday Girl Crown. I meant to take the placemats to work with me and laminate them, but of course forgot it until tonight... oh, well, I will do it when school starts back in August. Now,I have started a new tradition for Eloise....overtime we give her mommy or daddy a present I always have one for her, too.  Boy! Did she ever catch on to that one quickly....Baga just has to spoil her a little bit. Here’s wishing all of you a most happy M.E.Monday and a great week with some cool weather thrown in to make all of our lives just a little bit easier.

Before signing off, I want to thank Brenda at Cozy Little House for featuring my blog on her Welcome Wagon Friday posted on July 8th. She also included Jamie over at Freckled Laundry which is wonderful fun to read and Megan and Rebecca’s Blog Out Loud. Theirs is full of informative, easy to read, and most helpful info for us that love blogging.  Again, thank you, Brenda, for your kind words.  If you all have not visited these sites, please drop won’t be disappointed.

P.S.....Believe it or not, I met my goal of completing my quilt at 11:47PM tonight!  It has been washed, dried, and I have it pinned up on my wall looking at it. I cannot believe I actually pulled it off.  Will post photos tomorrow when the light is nice outside.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

And the Waters Rained Down From the Heavens......FINALLY!

Over the past two days, we have gone from no rain to two HUGE monumental storms.  They were so impressive I decided to try to document our little spot on the creek in photographs.  Here we go!
7/04/2010...Creek with Little Water-Rocks Exposed

7/8/10 - Creek Water after Rain #1-Hoodoo with Fewer Rocks Exposed

Genie’s Cooling Chair with Rock Table after Rain #1

Limbs of Tree Touching Ground from All the Rain after Rain #1

Close-Up of Tree Branch after Rain #1

7/9/10 - Partial Hoodoo with No Rocks Exposed 

Genie’s Chair but No Table Exposed 

How in the world my cooling chair managed to survive that onslaught of rushing water without ending up in the Maury River I will never know....guess I was just lucky! It is amazing what two HEAVY rains in less than 24 hours can do for an almost dry creek.  We were desperate for rain, and it finally came with a vengeance.  Thank you, thank you, thank you! Our prayers were answered.  The birds, bees, flowers, grasses, trees, and of course, Buddy and I, are so happy.

Our family and friends delight in building hoodoos in our creek and along the river.  In a good year, before they are washed away, we can have as many as a dozen all up and down our creek.  If you are curious about the “hoodoos”, here is the definition:

hoodoo (also called a tent rockfairy chimney, and earth pyramid) is a tall, thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or badland. Hoodoos consist of soft sedimentary rock topped by harder, less easily-eroded stone that protects each column from the elements.

~And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow. Gilbert K. Chesterton 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Friday Favorites

My Friday Favorites -
Originally uploaded by buttonsforbaga
This is my first attempt at putting together a mosaic of different girls’ projects from the “Seams to Me” group on Flickr. The pictures are of twelve “I Want One of Everything” bags by Anna Maria Horner’s pattern found in her book Seams To Me. These are ones I thought were extremely colorful and creative. To reach the list of the links to the girls who made the bags, click on the mosaic and you will be taken to my Flickr page.  There, under the collection, you will see the list. From there you can check out the bags more closely. I have made a number of these bags for myself and for gifts and absolutely love the pattern and the way it calls for the interesting mixture of fabric designs.

“On The Road” Quilters Kit

Since I decided to try to try to finish a quilt top I started last summer, it was necessary to pull out my quilting supplies.  Looking at this little case I made to take with me to school or in the car, I thought I would share with you how I made it.

On the internet I found the sweetest little pattern for a tea pot, so I pulled out some of my favorite remnants of flannel and appliqued them to the top.
The little kit is basically a sandwich made up of a top, a middle of batting, and a back out of a coordinated flannel.
As you can see, this little kit hold a whole lot of “Stuff” every quilter needs.  I stitched different sized pockets to hold the different tools I always need.
These are all the items I am able to carry in the kit, and I could even add more if needed.  It really does work well.  When I designed it, I did not take into account the size of the cutting board so it does stick out a little bit above the edge when the kit is closed over on itself and tied. Hey, no one is perfect...right????
I used the material above the pockets for pins, needles, and safety pins.  I cannot do without them close at hand. This area is basically my pin cushion! Once I completed the little project I still had some pieces of the flannel left over so I decided to make myself a pin cushion.  Well, I LOVE IT!  I use is all the time. 
I did not have a pattern for any of was a “do as you go” project which turned out to be one of my favorites and most useful.  Only the teapot design came from a pattern. I have lots more tools that are not in this kit, but it does hold everything I need if I am on the road or anywhere away from home and want to sew or quilt.

Summertime Is Time to Finish Quilts Sitting In the “To DO" Basket

     Ever since school let out for the summer, I have been cleaning and playing on my computer.  I’ve made some more of my "100 Dress Challenge” dresses for Little Dresses for Africa, some squares for "Rainbow Around the Block", several of Anna Maria Horner’s “I Want One of Everything Bags”, but sadly, my quilting has been put on the back burner.  Today I got up and told myself to get out the pink lap quilt I started LAST summer and see if I could finish it within the next week. It would be a way to keep mind off of the fact I’m covered in chigger bites and they are itching me to the point I am ready to scream. I wonder which will end first....the new bites appearing and itching or the quilt getting completed. We shall see.  Sorry about the quality of the photograph of the quilt top, but I have not as yet figured out how to properly photograph quilts in progress. It is made from Moda Jelly Roll pieces of fabric, but I do not remember which collection I was using.  It is pale yellows, greens, and pinks, and the backing is a lovely little yellow print which will blend in well. I put Prairie Points on along the top and bottom edges.

The Backing

Prairie Points

I was fortunate in that WallyWorld...AKA WalMart... is now carrying a 80% cotton/20% polyester batting at $11.00 for a double bed sizing so I did not have to drive 100 miles round trip to Michael’s to buy the cotton Heirloom batting. That put a smile on my face.
So here is where I am at plugging away.  I’ve cut out the batting and because I am old and used to doing it “my way” dating back 50 years, I hand basted the batting to the top with a dark blue thread starting at the top and working down every two inches to the bottom.  After that I cut out the backing strips and have them sewn them to either side of the backing and across one end. I refuse to buy more fabric to equalize the strips of the back because I made a promise to myself that I would use only what I had on hand...with the exception of the batting which I needed. Now let’s see how far I get today. That answer is up for grabs!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Genie’s Thrifty Thursday Bargains

Boy, did I hit the jackpot this week!  I’m appalled at my finds and am already using some of them. It just tickles me so when a find a REAL bargain. Our antique mall was having a 25% off sale because of the big holiday so I even saved a bit more.
               Number 1:  Decorations for the Fourth of July - Total=$4.00 less 25%
I used the two Dr. Pepper bottles to hold some of the flowers out of my garden, and we ate pop corn from the holders while watching the fireworks on TV.                        

                                  Number 2:  Linens - Total=$3.00 less 25%
The lady that always has the cheap linens had brought in a few more, and once again I got each for $1.00 but this time less 25%.  Now I am up to 5 of them. She has larger pieces in squares and rectangles, but they are $8.00 so have left those for someone else.

                   Number 3: A tall box with a slide-up door - Total=$45.00 less 25%
I do not have a clue what this was used for, but i got it put store all my thread. Unfortunately I did not have any spools with me to measure by, so my son is going to need to make some modifications so the spools fit a bit better and do not fall out.  Still it is so much better than the boxes I was using before. You can see from the lower picture that the way the lip is constructed the small spools will fall out and the thicker one will not fit at all. Thank goodness the person who owned it made the door for the front that slide up and out.  That way it doesn’t look so messy and the spools stay in place. My husband thinks it was a room key box, but I don’t know if I buy that one or not. Anyone have any ideas? The price for this was $65.00, but I did my usual begging and pleading and got it down to $45.00 + the 25% discount.  I think it was a good deal for what I need it for.

                               Number 4: Easel for Eloise...and it was FREE! 
I cleaned out some cabinets and was taking odds and ends to Goodwill but was so tired I decided to just go up to the dumpsters and leave the things there in their box. As I drove in I noticed a child’s double-sided blackboard/paint easel standing there just waiting for a taker.  I snatched it up for my Eloise, and then placed my box of freshly washed and ironed place mats, table linens, some clothes, and a bunch of cups and plates. Before I could drive away one of my former students drove in with her garbage. I rolled down my window and told her about the things. To make a long story short, she was just as happy to get my linens and dishes as I was to find the easel. I guess the saying is true ....One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.