My dear friend Bev lives in Pittsburgh...and recently I had emailed her about how the Pittsburgh accent was voted the ugliest in the US this year. I don't hear an accent when we talk...although she does insist on calling soda POP. Well, I roared when I opened my birthday card from her...with this Pittsburghese. I realize my birthday was in November, but with the holidays & fighting the crud that Phil brought home from work...I'm just getting around to sharing some very cool gifts with all of you.
This was the amazing pile of birthday goodies I got to open. I didn't take pix of everything...but here are some highlights...
First...these adorable ornaments Bev made for me. They're from salt & pepper shakers with little art charms dangling from them. They have a swirly wire hanger at the top...so very cool. They're out in my studio to brighten it up for the holidays. Maybe if the kitties settle down by next Christmas we can have a tree & these will find a home there.
This adorable cat ornament was one of my gifts, too. I love love love it...and it has a permanent home in my studio. This kitty makes me very happy each time I see her.
There were goodies from IKEA...these tags & paper clips...along with some journals I didn't photograph. A girl can never have too many tags or paper clips or journals. There are rumors here in Clevetown that there just *might* be an IKEA here in the near future. That would certainly make living here a bit more tolerable.
And then there were these quilt block kits from 1998...and a challenge. For over a year now Bev & I have been talking about doing a long distance quilt block a month challenge. It's almost January...which means the challenge will be starting. Soon. Very soon. I have lots of quilt projects in the works...but I'm accepting this challenge & will post each completed block as the year goes along. The kits have pre-cut pieces...certainly a nice touch. The instructions call for machine piecing...but I'll be hand piecing my blocks as I really like the calm of slow stitching.
So...there's a little glimpse into the fun I received from Bev for my birthday...thanks, my dear! Oh...today the mail guy brought some home baked cookies from Bev, too...YUM! I'm sure they'll be gone before I ever get to take pix...they're quite yummy...especially since I didn't have to bake them!
This is what I feel like these days. Between working on gifts for Hanukkah & Christmas...trying to get enough energy to do anything on these cold gloomy NE Ohio December days...and trying to work around kitties...I'm exhausted. This adorable face is what I saw when Gracie declared that I had worked on quilting for more than long enough and SHE needed attention.
This was the scene just before she came in for that close-up. You can always tell when she NEEDS something. What I need is one of Santa's helpers...as long as he knows how to sew. Or take pix & post stuff for sale in my Etsy shop. I'd take either talent right about now.
I'm working on taking pix & posting to Etsy today. It's a slow process...but maybe you'll come back in a day or two to look. These cute Santa salt & pepper shakers are for sale now.
Too bad these guys can't help me sew! Or maybe they'd play with Gracie & her brothers while I sew...that would work, too. And if any of you has some extra SUN and heat...that's all I really want for Christmas. I'm dreaming of a GREEN Christmas. Palm trees...warm Pacific Ocean breezes...sunshine...NO SNOW...that's what I dream of.
I never get tired of this photo of my Mom carving the turkey one Thanksgiving. The kitchen is that of my paternal Grandma & Grandpa. We were always there for Thanksgiving. I remember the meal being early in the day...probably shortly after noon. After feasting, the women...and girl cousins...would pack up the leftovers & clean the kitchen...while the men & boys went to the living room to watch football. Typical 1950s scenario. Then we'd enjoy some pie for dessert & pull names for the annual Christmas gift exchange. It was the adults pulling the names...as many as they had kids. All of us kids had prepared our wish lists, of course, which the adults gave to the appropriate Santa. Good times. In the evening we'd go to my Aunt & Uncle's house...that was even more fun as we'd eat & play cards & the adults would enjoy some adult beverages...something that was not allowed at Grandma & Grandpa's. My Uncle would even let me have a bit of whatever he was drinking...I told you it was even more fun there!
This lovely card was created by Sally & sent my way for Thanksgiving. We did a little Thanksgiving card exchange, which was lots of fun. I didn't take a photo of the card I made for her, but she has all her cards posted on her blog. Thanks, Sally!
Unfortunately we woke today to that dreaded white shit...but not as much as the East coast got. Phil is celebrating today with his family while I stay home to take care of the cats. He'll stay with his Mom until Saturday morning, when he'll make the boring ride home. Nothing scenic about the interstate here...just flat with dead trees...Ohio is an ugly state, especially compared to southern CA.
I'll be here watching football & attempting to eat the nice big shrimp that are chilling in the fridge...hopefully I can peel & eat them without kitty assistance. Our big turkey dinner will be after Phil gets home. This year his company gave each of them a turkey...so it will be nicely thawed by Sunday.
This is my Mom when she was almost 4 years old. Don't you love that big bow in her hair?
This is the full photo...and it's hand tinted like this. That's her brother, my Uncle Ed, with her. My brother has the framed photo now, because Mom moved in with him & my SIL a few months before she died.
Mom died on this date in 2008. She outlived my Dad by 20 years, even though she didn't really want to. When Phil & I first moved to this house...which had been theirs...I didn't sleep much & late at night I'd hear pacing up & down the hallway. I wasn't living here when my Dad got sick, but Mom told me how when he couldn't sleep, he'd pace the halls. The night Mom died, the late night pacing stopped...and has never come back. I figure that was Dad...waiting for Mom to join him.
Awhile back, my blogger friend Jann had a post about pie birds. You can read it here. When I commented that I also had a collection of pie birds that were my Mom's & Grandma's, Jann said she would love to see them. This post is for you, Jann.
This blackbird is my favorite...but don't tell the others I said that. Funny thing is...I don't remember anyone actually baking a pie with these guys inside. I don't like to bake...unless it's that frozen Marie Callender's Razzleberry pie...yum! I can't put a pie bird into that because it goes into the oven frozen. Comes out delicious...even with me baking it.
In case you can't tell...my pie birds live in a corner cabinet with lots of other fun plates & bowls & stuff I've collected over the years. They seem to like it there. Oh...and those Laurel & Hardy salt & pepper shakers were Mom's...my Dad loved Laurel & Hardy, so I think of him every time I look at them.
I'm still hand quilting that gift I can't yet reveal...interesting how hand quilting is so calming...I just sit & quilt...and do my best to keep the kitties off the quilt. The recipient of this quilt isn't allergic to cats...and I'll wash it before it gets shipped off...so no worries there.
It's way too cold here in NE Ohio...with way too much snow...but I'm happy we're not in Buffalo!
This is MUCH better than all that dead white shit from yesterday...although sadly, it's still out there. A girl can dream that she'll wake up back in Southern CA again...and I dream that every night.
This pretty jelly roll is my birthday gift from Phil this year. He knew it was just what I wanted since when Jenny at Missouri Star Quilt Co. had it as her Daily Deal, I asked him to order it for me! The fabric is called Rambling Rose by Sandy Gervais for Moda. The link takes you to MO Star where you can get one of your own. I won't be opening it until after the holidays when gifts are finished & given...but it will be a fun winter project. Lots of soft, pretty colors to make me try to forget the dead landscape outside.
Here's the start of the jelly roll...which is 2.5" strips of fabric just waiting to be sewn together. I love the colors in this collection...a pretty warm ivory goes to pinks & roses...then you see just the first hint of the turquoise...
...and the turquoise goes deeper then merges into a yummy cocoa color...
...and ends up with a luscious chocolate brown. I've always loved turquoise & brown together...and adding in the ivory & rose pinks sure makes this a favorite collection. I'm late to the party, but I want to make one of those Jelly Roll Race quilt tops...probably this one.
I think it will be a great way to showcase the collection. It's funny that I fell I love with this collection, because I have fabric for another quilt top & the fabric is also by Sandy Gervais. It's called Chance of Flowers & is the prettiest yellow, aqua, coral, ivory & green.
Now...sewing a super long strip of fabric with 3 playful kitties who want to "help" will be my biggest challenge. I'll post an update when I get that far.
I'll still be hand piecing my Grandmother's Flower Garden & my Tumbler quilt...but this will be a quick machine project to mix it up a bit. I plan to sew & quilt a lot to get me through the next 6 months with some shred of my sanity left.
Have a great weekend...you'll know where to find me...indoors. Oh...and a helpful hint...some Kahlua with half & half can warm up a cold gloomy day. Worked for me yesterday!
Woke up to this shit today...and it's STILL coming down. The news last night said a trace to an inch of the shit...shows what they know.
The Zombie flamingos are covered in the shit...time to bring them inside. Oh...it's only 26 out there...no way can I go outside AND breathe...so I'm most likely a prisoner in my house for the next 5-6 months. OHIO SUCKS!!!
The leaves aren't even all off of the trees. Everything outside looks dead. My soul has died here.
I fed the kitties...I'm going back to bed. I wish I could just sleep until the SPRING! I'll warn you...it's WHINING time here...it lasts until all this shit is gone & temps are in the 50s to 60s. There is not one good thing for me to say about this shit...I HATE IT!!!
So it's my birthday...a BIG one as I'm now eligible to get early Social Security payments...and I've already applied. Of course...I won't actually see any money until January 2015...but it's in the works.
In true NE Ohio style...the first 2 days of this week were wonderful...SUN and 60s...warm enough to open the windows for some fresh air. Today...as Ohio's gift to me...it's gloomy & cold...in the 30s. I've always hated my birthday weather here...long gone are the days of sitting out near the Pacific in the warm sun & ocean breezes to celebrate. I still can't understand why some people want to live here...it sucks!
No big plans as with asthma it's too cold for me to go outside...so we'll just hang out and do our best to enjoy the day.
p.s. Have I mentioned lately just how much I HATE living in OHIO?
Today is Veteran's Day. I made this ATC quite a few years ago, but it's appropriate today. Remember those who have gone before...fighting to keep our freedom.
Personally, I don't like any wars. I can't imagine anyone liking wars. I protested against the War in Vietnam. But I strongly support those who are valiant enough to fight for our freedom. So thanks to all the Veterans & to all our Active Duty service men & women, too.
I also made her a bunch of yo-yos...some from her fabric & some from my 1930s collection. I didn't take a pic of the yo-yos, but you can see them on her blog.
The rest of my week was filled with layering & pin basting a lap quilt I'm making. It's a gift, but I don't think the person who will receive it reads my blog. I'm still not sure I'll post pix of it just in case. Today I started hand quilting it. I'm using 12wt Aurifil cotton thread & it's a delight to work with. Now I know why so many quilters like it. I'm doing a haphazard big stitch & I love the effect so far. I may not be adding much to Kathy's blog until that gift is finished...it's going to take most of my free time to finish it along with other gifts for the holidays. But today I'm linking to the others who are doing gorgeous hand stitching & sharing it there. Click here for lots of wonderful eye candy!
How did it get to be November already? The weather here in NE Ohio certainly says it's November...wet & cold...very gloomy & nasty. I'm a November baby...and growing up here I hated having my birthday in November. The weather was always nasty...and still is. In Southern CA, my birthdays were much better...but alas...we're not in Southern CA anymore.
The little November Angel above was given to me for one birthday when I was very young....in the early 1950s. She sat on a shelf above my bed & I remember having to dust her each week. I have her up for sale in my Etsy shop right now.
I was surprised to find this guy in a box way up on a shelf here. I made this turkey napkin holder for my Mom back in the early 1980s. It's all patchwork & batting with some felt trim. Cute little turkey...but I no longer have big Thanksgiving dinners, so he's up for sale, too. Perfect for a Thanksgiving table or buffet.
I found some patterns Mom had for sewing stuffed turkeys, too...brand new never used patterns.
I guess she was planning to sew an entire flock of turkeys. Who knows? Anyway...if you're looking to make something for your Thanksgiving gathering...these could be perfect. I'll be adding more to my shop in November...Christmas items & other things that could be perfect for gifts. I always include a little thank you with each order, too...so please stop by.
Since you're one of my wonderful blog readers, you can use the coupon code BLOG20 to save 20% on your total order before shipping. You must enter the coupon code when you are placing your order. Over on the right side of the shopping cart, right under where it asks how you'll pay, there is a link that says "apply shop coupon code". Just click on that & enter BLOG20 to receive your 20% discount. The coupon code expires on November 30, 2014. Hope to see you in my shop soon!
Are these a hoot or what??? My friend Kathy sent these ZOMBIE Flamingos to me...and I love them! We had pink flamingos in the back yard earlier in the year...they have since flown over the fence to the next door neighbor's yard where he has a flock of faded out older flamingos. They wanted to join his flock. Now these guys are in our back yard. I only wish we could wire those eyes to glow when it gets dark.
They sit outside just off the driveway so we can see them when we look out the windows. They'll have to come inside after it starts to snow...but we may need some snow zombie flamingo pix first.
I also received a wonderful surprise package from my friend Sally in CA. We met during a Halloween swap and have kept in touch since. Lots of fun Halloween goodies & a fun card. The highlight of the package was that black & white skull fabric...yes, fabric!!!
Kathy also sent me an early birthday gift...those Halloween spoolies. They're perfect by the kitties that sit out all year long. I can't possibly pick a favorite...but that skull is awesome...notice the spider! I adore the eyeball...and of course it's a bit hard to see, but the purple one has a bat flying above it. Perfect for a bit of Halloween in our living room.
BIG HUGS and THANKS to both Kathy & Sally...you've made me very happy & feeling a bit more like Halloween is just around the corner.
Take a look at this treasure that arrived in my mail the other day. Piles of 1930s reproduction prints!
So many pretty prints that I had never seen before...and I have quite a collection of 1930s prints.
These are the larger pieces...a beautiful rainbow of colors...all from my quilting friend Donna. Donna is making a Dresden Plate quilt in 1930s prints and these were the "scraps" she had left over. Since she didn't want to do another 1930s project...she gifted them to me!
I had already finished cutting the hexies for my quilt...but I'm going to have to use some of her prints, too...these fun cats were the first to get cut & pieced...I love them!!!
Donna's blog is Quilted Chocolate...don't you LOVE the name? You should visit her for great inspiration. Thanks so very much Donna...I'm honored to include some of your prints in my quilts. They will definitely all be in my Tumbler quilt one day.
I finished some other flowers this week, too...I love this one with all violet prints.
All blues here...the floral is another one from my Grandma's stash.
This last one for the week is one of my favorites. It's so bright & lively...and I love the purple & orange with just a hit of acid green.
The mail lately also held some fabulous Halloween treasures...I'll post about those later in the week after I can get a good pic outside...it's too rainy & cold to do it now. I've also been at the sewing machine a lot this week...getting those Christmas & Hanukkah gifts started.
Have a great week...I'm linking up at Kathy's blog again with the others enjoying some slow stitching. It's a great place to visit for some awesome eye candy.
I've always been an artist...from as far back as I can remember, I loved to create and share my art. My current passions include quilting, altered art, paper arts and making charms for jewelry.
I'm a CA girl at heart, having lived in San Diego & Corona, CA for most of my adult life, but now find myself in NE Ohio & not thrilled with that! You'll hear a LOT of whining about OH here...it's a nasty place to live.
I currently live in the 1954 bungalow that I grew up in with my sweetie & love of my life, Phil, and our very spoiled kitty, Sunny Cat. We miss our dear sweet Sophie Cat, but Sunny has brought new love into our lives. Now we've rescued 3 kittens that were born in our backyard, so Fluffer, Gracie & Peanut are also part of our family...and they're as cute as can be. More cats = more love! We're hanging in here & doing the best we can.