"Hey, if I had somewhere to go, I certainly wouldn't be in Cleve-Land." -Howard the Duck

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Well...here we go AGAIN!  This time it's even worse.  The rumor is we could see 60 by Monday...I'll believe it when I see it.  This shit just keeps falling...I'm going back to bed.  Wake me when it's over!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

This is so WRONG!!!

I can't take this much longer...it's March 25th for God's sake...make this shit STOP already!!!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Spring Cleaning...

Well...the calendar says it's Spring...but the cold temps & gloomy skies say Old Man Winter just won't leave us alone.  I'm considering making an Old Man Winter Voodoo Doll to make him suffer as he makes his exit.  I still can't believe we were stupid enough to move back to OH when we were happy & warm in southern CA...but that's what happened. 
Since it's still way too cold for me to venture outside, I'm doing some spring cleaning in my studio & clearing out supplies I no longer use.  One big part of this is my rubber stamp collection.  I have way over the legal limit of rubber stamps...and many of them need new homes.  Quite a few of my stamps are from companies that have since gone out of business...so these are images you won't find in too many places. 
The botanicals above are from Rubber Stampede.  They are among the first stamps I ever bought...and they make lovely note cards or greeting cards.  I'm still waiting for the crocus to bloom in our front lawn...I see their green leaves among the dead grass, but no pretty flowers yet.
I've listed some background stamps...this large music one is great to use as a background for vintage photo cards...or on an art journal page.
Conversation hearts...another great stamp that makes a great Valentine or Thinking of You card.
A very funny image for a New Baby card...this still makes me laugh!  It's hard to read, but it says "Ten fingers, ten toes and one Healthy set of Lungs!  Congratulations to the Lucky Parents".
Sweet bluebirds on a twig heart...this one can be used for so many things...but it's one I don't use anymore...and it's by Uptown who is also out of business. ***SOLD***
I've even listed Christmas stamps...it's never too early to start creating for Christmas.
If you're in the market for some new to you rubber stamps...many that you won't find elsewhere...please stop by my little Etsy shop...Kitten Creates.  With another week ahead of winter weather...I'll be adding even more images to the assortment. 
Thanks for visiting...and if you have any pull with Old Man Winter...tell him to get out of here!!!  He's not welcome anymore.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

National Quilting Day

I've just discovered that today is National Quilting Day.  Who knew?  Before this year I had never heard of it...but I've been getting email & reading blogs about quilting & apparently this is the day.

The pic above is of the hexagons I have cut out for my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt.  I'll need to cut many many more & piece them together, but I'm finding it works best for me to cut some, sew some, cut some...and so on.  I've been having fun piecing the first round of hexagons for the flowers.  It goes pretty easily.  The second round of 12 hexagons is a bit more involved, and I'll get to that next.  The bottom row shows the ones I've cut for the 6 hexagon round...the ones on top are in 12s...and the gold & white ones are the centers.

Here are some more flowers started over the last couple of days...
I love this blue print...more circles!
A different scale in the print here...but more circles.
This print is an authentic 1930s cotton from Grandma's collection.  Love it!
This is from one of the pieces Pam sent me in the last swap...cute kids playing.
Interesting print from the reproductions I've been gathering...great colors.
Another authentic 1930s fabric...I need to use more yellow as it works great.
Last but not least...this may be my favorite of the 1930s repro fabrics I've cut into so far...I don't have a big piece of this but wish I did.  I can probably get a couple of the 6 hex rounds & one of the 12 hex rounds out of what I have.  It's a bit more vibrant than it shows up here...a wonderful turquoise.
So here's to National Quilting Day...and the Ides of March...and the first day of Purim.  I may even get adventurous & try to make some Hamantaschen later.  If I do get brave & try to make some, I'll blog about it as it's sure to be an adventure...I don't like to bake.  But Hamantaschen are impossible to find on this side of Cleveland, so maybe I'll have to...we do like to eat them!
Now if it would only warm up & stay warm, we'd have that to celebrate, too.  It's cold today & going colder throughout the day & into Sunday & Monday.  Enough already!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The only flowers around here...

...are the ones I'm piecing for my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt.  I'm discovering it's quite the challenge to do any sewing or artwork with 3 kittens who want to "help"...but I'm trying my best.
I'm really loving both the original 1930s prints & the reproduction ones that I have gathered for my quilt.  The fabric above is from the 1930s...it was some of what I have from my Grandma.  I love that the color is almost the same as Pantone's Color of the Year...Wild Orchid.  What goes around comes around...at least I think that's how that saying goes.
This vibrant orange & lime green print is a reproduction.  I love the geometric design.  It has lots of movement...wish I had more of that fabric, but I don't.  Oh well...I love it & used it...and it will be in at least one more flower in my quilt.
And I couldn't resist combining the old with the new to get this wonderful flower.  I'm really liking the 2 print flowers more than the ones where I combine a print & a solid.  Both variations will have a home in my quilt one day.
Circles are design features in both fabrics...and are always a favorite of mine. 
I wasn't sure how this sort of brickwork print would translate into a flower...but I like it.  Having a variety of prints in my quilt should make it very interesting.  While I love patchwork quilts made with a deliberate placement of fabrics & colors, I think the most interesting ones look as if they've been made from whatever scraps are available. 
So these are just some of the flowers I've been creating lately...in the dead of winter...hoping they'll help cheer me up until the real spring flowers arrive...hopefully soon!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Some Sparkle on a Gloomy Day

I'm slowly getting back into listing vintage beauties to my Etsy shop, KittenCreates.  This brooch above was from either my Mom's or Grandma's collection.  Hard to say as my Grandma's collection became my Mom's...and now it's all mine.  The sweet bouquet always reminds me of Forget Me Nots...and spring. 

This brooch was definitely Grandma's...it is marked as made in Austria...and that is where Grandma is from.  Those aurora borealis rhinestones are simply stunning with the dainty enameled flowers and leaves.
This one was an anniversary gift from Grandma to Mom...I love the two circles of pearls entwined with a golden ribbon.
This swirl of faux pearls & rhinestones set in silver really sparkles.  I remember Mom wearing this on her spring coat often.  Remember when women wore brooches on their coats?  It's one of the fondest memories from my childhood...even I had some little brooches to wear on my coat...like this sparkly little daisy below...from the early 1950s.
The turquoise marquis cut rhinestones forming the daisy petals still have plenty of sparkle left.
Finally...this little beauty has aged to perfection.  To my eye, the rhinestones have a slightly gray tint now...not all of them, but some do.  It's quite sophisticated.  The brooch still sparkles like mad...even though it's from the 1940s or 1950s. 
All of these & more are now in my Etsy shop.  I do love my collection of vintage jewelry, but I simply don't wear it anymore...so it's time to see if it will find a new home...maybe yours?  With Easter & Mother's Day approaching, these would make lovely gifts...more lasting than flowers or candy...although those are wonderful, too!  I ship them in a gift box so you're all set.
You'll find my Vintage Jewelry and Apparel right here.  Thanks for stopping by. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Another quilt inspiration

Years ago I wanted to make a Tumbler Quilt but never did get around to it.  One day as I was working in my Etsy shop, I decided to look to see if anyone sold a Tumbler template...and sure enough...I came across this one & ordered it right away.  Fast shipping & excellent quality...I'm quite happy with it.

The tumbler measures just 2.5" from top to bottom, so it can be cut from lots of little scraps of fabric.  It is designed to fit exactly on a Jelly Roll, too.  Since I have tons of quilting cottons in my collection, I've decided to make my quilt out of an assortment of different fabrics, alternating lights & darks. 

The little sampler above was cut & stitched...by hand...in a day.  I simply pulled out 2 dark & 2 light prints & got to work.  I sure don't want a quilt that is all shades of brown...but I believe this little sampler will be made into a pillow.  I'll probably add a couple different brown/beige borders, then make the final border & the back of the pillow blue.  There is a bit of blue in the one light print, so it will all tie together nicely.  I've always loved the color combo of brown & blue...even my Arabia hand painted stoneware is brown & blue & we use it daily.

I'm still working on my Grandmother's Flower Garden, but I think this will give me a nice diversion from that small, intricate patchwork.  I'll have more pix of my flowers for that quilt soon...I'm having so much fun doing hand sewing this winter...and it's something I can continue to do in the summer, too...sitting outside piecing fabric...a girl can dream.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Happy Mardi Gras!!!

Well...one of my favorite days of the year is here...it's Mardi Gras!  Or Fat Tuesday, if you prefer.  But it's Mardi Gras to me...especially since the time we lived in Dallas & there were lots of celebrations...and beads...and King Cake.
Ever since we moved to Ohio...we couldn't find a King Cake.  I thought of baking one...briefly...but since my culinary talents lie in cooking, NOT in baking...we just remembered when we could get them.  This year one of the local grocery stores had King Cakes...or at least the Parma, OH version of a King Cake.  They're a little unclear on the concept, though...
The box side has this warning...and yes, there IS a baby hidden INSIDE a traditional King Cake.  The person who gets the baby in their slice buys the next King Cake.
For this King Cake...the baby was stuck into the top of the King Cake...right in plain sight.  I suppose you could bury the baby on the bottom of the cake...but this version was simply a braid of dough & quite dense...with just the barest little hint at adding cinnamon & apples to it.  They're usually a ring of yeast dough with a nice amount of a cream cheese &/or fruit filling...and purple sugar that doesn't turn blue.  Hey...maybe this is a Ghoulardi version for Parma...one of his catch phrases was "Turn blue, Knif!"  You probably need to have grown up in the Cleveland area to really get that one...but I think it's kinda funny...and appropriate.  Ghoulardi is a part of Cleveland history...a strange part, but a part nonetheless.  And Fat Tuesday here involves Paczki...you can read all about them here.
So...since our King Cake turned out to be a dud...we'll celebrate with another tradition we've developed over the years...I'll make a big pot of Shrimp Étouffée.  I use a recipe I found in a Paul Prudhomme cookbook years ago... and it's so yummy.  This one is similar to what I make...although I don't use tomatoes. 
Happy Mardi Gras, Y'all!!!  It's the day of the year to eat decadent stuff...before Lent begins tomorrow...if you do that giving stuff up for Lent thing.  We don't...but it's always a good excuse to party!
Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Maybe Spring IS on the way...

I saw this little robin last Wednesday...eating some berries that grow on a vine throughout the rhododendron that grows outside our living room window.  I don't know what the vine is, but it has red berries that stay on it even after the rest of the vine is dormant...and the robins find them each spring. 
Mr. Robin stayed around long enough for me to grab my camera & get some decent pix of him through the front window...thanks, my dear friend!  No sun for him that day...or now.  We're back in the deep freeze here...and got some snow over the weekend, but not nearly as much as they got south of us.  I'm sick to death of all this snow & bitter cold...I'll bet this robin thought it must be spring here by now.  I found this pic from last year on March 9th...the first crocus were just coming up then.
No hope for that early bloom this year...there's over a foot of snow covering them right now.  Usually they arrive around mid March...almost always by St. Patrick's Day...so let's hope SPRING is getting ready to kick Old Man Winter out of here SOON!