My grandmother taught me a lot of needlework crafts. It is because of her that I know how to tat.
She encouraged my sisters and me in all things that we did and made. My grandmother was also a master of simple fun. She could entertain my sisters and me all day with a
piece of string, a button, and a handkerchief! She knew a lot of
tricks. We learned to make a doll from a handkerchief and also the love
She taught us the magic trick of how to cut off our fingers or head with a piece of string. She even taught my son that trick which he performed for his second grade magic show years ago.
My grandmother always appreciated the things that we made for her. Even when we were very young and our attempts were not of top quality she always complimented us and said whatever it was that we had made was "the most beautiful she had ever seen." I always loved hearing that. My sisters and I sometimes joked about wanting to be the last to give her a gift because then our gift would be "the most beautiful." I know now that the beauty she saw in all the gifts was not just in the item and how it was made but in the love, thought, and time that went into its creation.
When I was young she made these pin cushions for me. I don't think I appreciated them when she gave them to me but now I think they are truly the most beautiful I have ever seen and they are the ones that I use all the time when I am sewing.
P. is good at catching frogs. She has watched her brothers do it. See, there it is in her hands. She also has a good imagination.
I think most of us have the ability to imagine things well when we
are young. As we get older some of us lose some of this ability.
Things get in the way of our imagination. Some toy makers are good at
doing this. This is why we try to keep things simple here. We always
try to have a large cardboard box around. They can be used for
anything, a boat, plane, mountain, bus, house, cave, spaceship,
oven, elevator..... In addition to
saving money, and having less clutter in the house we feel we are
It all goes along with one of our favorite sayings.
I love to spend time in The Potting Shed. It is a great little shop in my town full of treasures. It is a shop that sells eclectic items for original gift giving and unique things for your home vintage and new. She has garden items, household items, children's items, kitschy stuff, jewelry, greeting cards and more. My recent finds there include this amazing old handkerchief
and this great old apron.
In addition to my greeting cards, she now has these.
I like to support local businesses and I also like that this one supports local artists.
I got this stack of 1950s children's books at a garage sale this spring. As I looked at them I noticed that they were almost all colored in aqua and red. They looked great together. I really like the deep saturated red with the bright aqua-- so very 1950s.
I am also a member of this doll quilt challenge group. Each month there is a different challenge idea. I like these sorts of challenges because sometimes they encourage me to try something new.
I got out my bin of scraps and pulled out reds and aquas. I made this: and then this:
for the doll challenge group. Several years ago a friend who does hand dying gave me some perle cotton thread in these same saturated colors. I used that thread to hand quilt these little quilts.
Most recently I made this quilt from the same bundle of fabric scraps. Doll quilts are great for trying out ideas.
I am finding that my inspiration for projects comes from a variety of sources. It usually comes from something unexpected.
This fall we have had a few extra weeks of warm weather. We have been enjoying the warmth while we finished our garden harvest and prepared the lawn and garden for winter. Today is twenty degrees cooler than yesterday. Now it is time to change our focus to indoor activities like home repair and renovation and fun fiber projects out of this beautiful hand painted yarn from my friend Chris ofBriar Rose Fibers.
Last winter I was making myself a hat...
which will be an adult version of the hat in this set that I made last winter for P.
I also made this for my niece a couple of years ago. She has outgrown it and given it to P!
Can you tell I really like to use Chris' gorgeous yarn??????????????????
(note: She put her own shoes on. It appears they are on the wrong feet.)
Like the little red hen in the children's story, we like to do things
from scratch around here. When we make cornbread we start by planting
Indian corn. We pick the corn, shuck the corn, shell the corn, and grind the corn. Then we follow the recipe below.
Little Red Hen Bread: makes one eight-inch square
1 cup flour 4 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup cornmeal 2 eggs 1 cup buttermilk 4 tablespoons melted butter 3 tablespoons honey
Have all ingredients at room temperature. Sift together dry ingredients. Beat
together eggs, buttermilk, butter, and honey until well blended. Stir
in dry ingredients just until moistened. Spoon into a well buttered 8
inch square baking pan. Bake in oven preheated to 450 degrees 20 minutes or until cake tester
inserted in center comes out clean and bread has pulled away from the
sides of the pan. Muffins cook 10-12 minutes. Serve hot with butter.
It is a lot of work but the results are worth the effort. The cornbread has great color, texture, and taste.