Ramblings...

Welcome to my blog! I hope to make your visit worthwhile and reward you with some new inspirations, sewing and recycling, crafts tutorials and recipes. Please add yourself as a follower, so that you will automatically be updated when I post something new! Please comment, I appreciate sharing mutual interests, like sewing, crafting, cooking and of course eating well! I am a former Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, I sub in 3 school systems and moonlight at a retail ladies clothing store. I also am a licensed realtor with my hubby's company, which sometimes allows me to indulge my creative energies. A wife, a mom through adoption, Christian, boomer and a member of the sandwich generation I hope to share my unique perspectives and help you with some of yours!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Decorating with Vintage, and an old fashioned July weekend to remember.

Stick with this very long post with alot of pics, and you will arrive at the Decorating with Vintage Part 3. I would love if any of you have some recent creations made with vintage to post them on my flickr group, link on side bar and here     Also, I am linked up here to http://romantichome.blogspot.com/  Show and Tell Linky Party, April 2010

 
A July Weekend filled with All American Fun!
 Another weekend filled with old fashioned fun midwest style. Sandusky is a 45 minute drive from our hometown of Cleveland. It is a town frozen in the past, though many of the beautiful buildings are vacant, there are still busy weekends festivals and fairs. This weekend, we took a quick trip to our boat, to enjoy a little Cedar Point, and lots of heat and sun. Driving through the center of town, we always happen on to some kind of event. This was an old fashioned type of gathering, classic cars, and all through the town park, were 40 plus Carousel Pipe Organs, large and small. Click the play button to hear one man's Organ Grinder Box, the kind you used to see in towns with a little monkey begging for money.



 
 Some of these cars were real beauties, just enjoy a little  montage..

 And at the same time the Carousel Pipe Organ "convention" was in full swing across from the Carousel Museum, located in an old bank building.  Small crowds stopped to enjoy the music, some broke out in couples dance, jitterbugging to the music.  Smiles all around, despite the heat and humidity. This organ was made in the Netherlands, I should have shot closer, it was so intricate.




 And how many towns have a working flower clock, with the date that actually changes each day?
An exhibiter, with a Organ Grinder, that he dutifully cranked.
I have a short clip, I am attempting to upload to YouTube, stop back to see if I got it here.

And after 24 hours of R&R, I was off to Westlake to sell my wares at their Historical Antiques Fair with my good friend Crystal, who has a thriving upholstery business. She actually reupholstered the chair she is standing next to, (pic below) during the day enduring 90 degree heat, all the while selling recycled upholstery fabrics, 39 boxes of them! Sadly not all of it sold! We each sold 40 dollars worth of stuff, that we in turn used to purchase stuff we really wanted! One lady had beautiful yard art, made of stacking different vases and bowls, to make bird baths. Another lady had depression glass glued in layers to simulate flowers. I bought the latter, see below.





You can see I have a booth within her booth, for The4Rs.  I have a new rack I purchased at my last fair, so I had more vertical space for my "Powels". And I recycled more clothing into pillows and cell phone holders.


 Here is a pic of my newly purchased yard art, my favorite medium, depression glass with an accent piece. This flower will look good long after my garden returns to seed.

Bella our dog continues to enjoy the water, and her best friend...


And another searing sunset, from our vacation spot back porch.
Decorating with Vintage Crochet and Textiles (part 3)
Of course tradition reigns with using doilies and needlework to decorate your home.  Stitching onto a pillow or framing are good ways to make use of handiwork. The intricate lacy quality of my Grandma B's crocheting shows nicely on a dark navy background.  My cross stitch sampler I created was found in my mother's little box of stuff she saved from us kids.  This was signed by me, age 9.  It was brittle, but I made it into a pillow I point to with pride!



The blue flower basket linen piece below was part of a set of drapery panels I found at a thrift store that never made into curtains.  The design was probably prepainted in blue, and then the needlework was set around it, mostly crewel work in a white cotton.  I made 2 pillows for backs of chairs with it, and I have a long rectangle that matches it that would have been the valance.   One of my favorite quilt motifs is Grandmothers Garden pattern.  This full size quilt has been gracing an ugly table for quite some time.  I hide stuff underneath, and the quilt's muted colors in pink, blue, red and yellow is cheerful and ties my great room together.  Many of the patches are plaid which I think lends a slightly masculine tone to my mostly flowery decorating.  Yes my hubby is a saint, as he let me display my ever increasing collection throughout the house.



This pillow was started as a rug.  Remember Rugpoint, circa 1980? as a new way to needlepoint with fabric strips?  I designed this cat, (we had one named Audrey when we were newlywed.) The cat is holding a tulip in it's mouth as a nod to my heritage. This piece also ended up as a pillow.  Since I have long window seats flanking my entertainment center, I have plenty of room to absorb the overflow of pillows that get used as napping spots for animals and humans!


And another repurposed needlework put to use, such as this simple mesh backpack, purchased at Office Max a few years back. Here you see my fav backpack with an unfinished needlepoint chair cover that was waiting for its chance to see the light of day. I adore the rose motif, so around 5 years ago, I wanted to add an outside pocket to my mesh backpack, and I simply sewed a pocket of the needlepoint piece, backing it with velour, and attached it on 3 sides with sturdy thread and buttons to anchor it to the bag. Vintage buttons of course...I keep my keys and cell phone in that outside pocket that is secured at the top with velcro.  And of course a doily graces a plether and linen bag I made and sold in my etsy shop a while back.  I love to show off doilies as I run around town dragging all of my prized possessions!


Next post, I will share with you how I turned a linen dress and man's linen shirt into two coordinating pillows...
Love to see what you are making, I am thinking of trying a link party, anyone interested in participating, can you comment below? 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer Stuff, Peach Cobbler, Ez Brzy Decorating with Crochet part 2

Summer Stuff, a few more July 4th memories...
 our annual Bay Days Celebrations, with carney rides and community booths.  My daughter and I got to sell Dippin Dots for our local Band Boosters.  Pretty soon, we will be worrying about paying for band trips


and uniforms. Volunteering helps offset the costs.Local bands perform at the Gazebo, we are fortunate to have a lot of local talent!





 Fun in our pool, my daughter babysits 3 active little boys, whom she enjoys babysitting poolside. Here is Froggy, their recent find in the skimmer.  We have found 2 large frogs to date...it must be hot for them to choose chlorinated water!

Decorating with Crochet, part 2
A few more uses of filet crochet, in long panels.  Here is a lazy way to top a window, this piece is pretty raggedy, but it overlooks a remodeling project on our back porch.  It hangs from rod hooks, one on each side.  No sewing, measuring or fiddling, occasionally I reattach so it doesn't swag so low.

     
These matched panels were purchased, and simply frame a bathroom window, keeping the air flowing, but privacy maintained.


 Another window, with the plants infiltrating!

 I love doilies, so of course any small ledge can hold my bounty.  I change them frequently, and enjoy the really lacy ones as art.

I have 2 rectangles that match, one much wider than the other.  Purchased for a buck at a tag sale, I was thrilled to put one to use as a shawl, by threading a chiffony ribbon through the ridges, ending in more ribbon ties at the bottom
  

 
 This shawl could double as a scarf, though it does seem heavy.Below is a pic of the longer and wider panel, I use to protect the top of a dresser in my craft/sewing corner. It is heavy enough to be protective, and light enough to let color show through.



 Here is a view of my living room windows, I have thrifted lace panels that I repurposed from pinch pleat panels.  The toppers are Belgian lace, purchased in the Netherlands, on a trip around 10 years ago.  I so love the lace curtain look, I had to recreate my version.  I have big windows across and wrapping on the sides in my living room, I had to wire rods together in the corners to keep the look consistent.


Last item is a large floor pillow, my mom picked up on her International travels.  It is sturdy and crocheted in a very heavy yarn.  She made me a pillow out of a darker color so that the design shows through. This pillow has graced a floor of various rooms for well over 25 years.  I wash it occasionally, but it keeps on keepin on!

Now for your reward! 
My favorite summertime treat, Peach Cobbler!



Fresh Peach Cobbler from the Eet Smakelijk’s Best (meaning to eat well and with taste) a cookbook by the Junior Welfare League of Holland, MI, my copy is from 1976. I turn to this cookbook often for the tastes of my childhood. My mom’s sister Beezie lived in Holland for most of her life, and turned us on to this great cookbook.


4 ½ cups fresh peaches, sliced ¼ tsp almond extract

1 cup sugar 1 T lemon juice

1 T. cornstarch dash of cinnamon, and nutmeg or cardamon
Shortcake:

1 cup flour 1 egg, beaten

½ cup sugar ¾ cup sour cream

1 tsp. baking powder 2 T butter, melted

¼ tsp salt cream or ice cream to top

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 9 x 9 baking dish. Arrange peaches in dish. Combine sugar, cornstarch, extract and juice. Sprinkle on peaches. Heat in oven while preparing shortcake.

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; set aside. Combine egg, sour cream and butter; blend well into flour mixture. Drop by spoonfuls onto fruit. Bake 30-40 mins. If desired, serve with cream or ice cream.
I doubled this recipe so that I could deliver one to my elderly neighbor.


 Remember, to not overstir, as this is a quickbread... I added a sprinkle of fresh picked blueberries to the batch, added a nice tangyness (spelling?)



A dusting with cinnamon sugar, and you are good to go, take in summer breezes at sunset!


Some more uses for vintage textiles, in my next installment! Come on back, now ya'll!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Anniversary Honey Buns and some decorating ideas for vintage doilies

Have to do a quick shout out to my hubby of 32 years today, I LOVE YOU! We are celebrating today by getting a roof estimate!  We had hail damage early this summer that has left some areas allow water to creep in. Glamorous, no, but necessary.  Funny over the years how our gifts to each other have changed.  Jewelry was never one of our items of choice.  But practical reigned, as we treated ourselves to home improvements.  Of course when you buy a "handyman" special of a home, improvements are always going on.  We plan on celebrating at a local restaurant for lunch, as food ranks up there in terms of marking occasions. I have enjoyed the ride so far, looking forward to many more, Ted...
 1978 to present


The past few weeks have been bucolic, lots of summer activities. It is so nice to be a "teacher" to  have summers "off" where you can pack in alot of fun.  Our summers  include swimming in our backyard and boating in Sandusky.  The boat almost didn't get put in the water this year, there is a story I won't waste your time with.  Last year we just sat at the dock, with gas being so expensive.  Over the 4th we invited some friends to take a ride on the tube and enjoy the fireworks.


friends Madi and Morgan, warming up the tube!


Textile and Crochet Decorating for your Home

If you have been following my blog for awhile, you know how much I love doilies and vintage textiles.  Part of what started my hobby, I mean business was turning my surplus into cash.  I have my favorites of course, that I won't part with.  My grandma Sadie, as I remember her, always had her hands busy crocheting, tatting and knitting.  My earliest memories of her are her hands working swiftly with some delicate doily, as she talked and drank coffee in the parlor.  I was fascinated that art could be created out of string.  Some of my most prized ones adorn my parlor walls today.  I simply starched them, took a few small stitches towards the top to anchor to the foam board that I had covered in solid chintz.  I actually built the frames for each one too, purist that I am, at one of those frame it yourself shops, back in the 80's.  Most of these doilies languished many years in my mother's linen drawers, but I was so happy to bring them to life in this way. 

 Here is my collection of 6 coordinating pieces, each with a different solid color coordinating with my parlor.


I have alot of large filet crochet panels that took up drawer space for a short while.  This large peacock panel was around 36 by 70 inches, and probably graced a window or hung on a window back in the day.  I was in need of hanging storage for my vintage beads and brooches, so first I covered a bulletin board with a neutral pink chintz, and then wrapped the whole board with the filet panel, hot glueing it on the back side.  I didn't want to cut or harm the design, so glue is easily picked off when I want to recycle again.  Here is a view of it hanging in my bedroom.  I use some of the pins to hang light necklaces on them, or long corsage pins, bent to hang heavier pieces.  I think of it as wall art, and keeps my items organized, albeit dusty... but I enjoy looking at them.

 I had a large filet panel, that I loved, that originally I planned for a long window topper. Unfortunately I never got around to installing a rod, so instead, I sewed an old eyelet edged ruffled sheet to the bottom of it, clipped clear shower curtain rings to the top, and bought a spring loaded shower curtain bar, and stretched this across my daughter's closet. The old doors were annoying and came off the track alot so this was a much more attractive option.


Even though the panel was longer than the curtain and space, I simply let it hang evenly on each side.




A little peek at a utility room bath, plants infiltrating...



I have even more ideas to share, but this post is getting long, so stick around for another post with great ideas for repurposing those beautiful textiles, and another summer time fav recipe, Peach Cobbler... until next time!

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