Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Birthday Birdcage

Back in November I sold this delightful Birdcage Candle Lantern to a young lady from Australia who wanted to use it as a decoration on her birthday cake.

She had difficulty getting her payment processed with the correct shipping but we persisted and after many emails back and forth, on the third try we succeeded.

Crossing my fingers that it would not be too heavy for it's intended purpose and that it would arrive in time I shipped it off Air Mail. It took exactly ten days to get from southeastern South Dakota to Southern Australia which was a relief.

I had asked her if she would send me a picture, and by golly she did, this arrived this evening, click to embiggen.

I am astounded at her talent, she made and decorated this cake herself. The bird cage was painted to match the free form decoration on the sides and of course she now has a permanent souvenir of her 21st birthday.

Y'all come back!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Weekend Thoughts

It is that time of year, as earth enters it's winter rest period in the northern hemisphere, days grow shorter and we tend to become more reflective.

I have been thinking about those who have lost their jobs, especially this week, and there have been many. Six hundred at Yahoo in California bringing the total Yahoo job cuts to almost 4000 (25% of their US workers), 4,400 at TJX which owns TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods. Add the 1700 who were fired by telephone conference call from Sanofi-Aventis, maker of Ambien and there is a lot of sadness and anxiety.

I have been thinking about those who have lost their homes and those children who Santa may not visit this year. The mother who told her child Santa had to let people go at the North Pole this year broke my heart.

Most of all I have been thinking about the thousands of animals, pet dogs and cats, even horses who if they were very lucky landed in a no kill shelter. Many were simply abandoned, left to fend for themselves, slowly starving to death, lots more have been euthanized.

A friend recently found a Persian cat in terrible shape, almost dead, she was neutered and declawed, at some point in time she had been a pampered indoor cat. Without claws she had no way to defend herself, climb a tree to escape a dog or hold onto a mouse or bird if she had been lucky enough to catch one. That cat now has a home. Many others don't, but you can help, without spending one single cent.

On the right is a link to the Animal Rescue Site. Sponsors who advertise on that site hoping that you will buy something, pay the site for clicks, one each day per IPN. They also pay a percentage of sales. I bought a sweatshirt very reasonably priced and feel good that 'my present to me' is also benefiting a shelter or spay neuter clinic, maybe a vaccination program.

The Animal Rescue Site makes grants from that income to a variety of shelters and animal welfare organizations. Click here to see which group/s benefit in your state. Further down the page, charts show daily and monthly results from your clicks on the "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button.

You can add a "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button to your blog, find the code here. I hope that you will take the time to develop the habit of clicking on that button every day, and also be moved to tell others about the program,


Y'all come back!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday Goals

My goals for last week were very small, but I achieved them and that is what counts in my book. The little Yin Yang throw is a completed top ready for quilting.

I pieced 10" of the lovely Timeless Treasures Maple colored Confetti Flower fabric to both sides of the French Roosters from Island Batiks, making a 63" wide back. Then I added 3" finished borders in the Confetti Flower to the quilt front and made my bias binding (cut 2-1/2" wide) in the same fabric.

I like this top a lot and can't wait to get it completely finished. Probably we will quilt it with Hermione Agee's Fire Flower which can be seen here.


I am still messing with the setting for my son's quilt.

I have a project that is not a UFO, more of a WIP (work in progress) From the Spring 2002 issue of Vintage Quilts published by McCalls Quilting, it is called Double X Effect, and will be 74-1/2" x 78-1/2". The original had a sawtooth border on three sides.

The half square triangles are 3" finishing at 2-1/2". While the set on point blocks themselves are simple there is plenty of room for error, it is really easy to stitch them facing the wrong way. No, please don't ask me how I know, I am taking the 5th on that question.

There are four different variations of setting triangles, not shown very clearly in this illustration from the magazine. The edge ones which you can see clearly are easy but the corner ones are complex and fiddly.

My quilt will be scrappier than the original. The fabrics are a discontinued line from Wilmington, I believe called Falling Leaves. It came in a lot of colors. It is a nice heavy Kona Cotton type weave which was not popular. I got mine on sale very inexpensively. I think I also have it in blues and rust. The red-to-raspberry is my favorite. Click to enlarge images. Because I do not have enough of the darker tan brown, which I prefer with the red, I will be sprinkling the cream throughout the center and using it in the borders. Hopefully I have enough for the binding too.

Y'all come back!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Waiting For The Storm

The air is still. Not a wisp of movement, and for here, that is unusual. We have sprinklings of rain and we have been promised much, much more. Lord knows we need it.

Click on the image to see the satellite live, you will have to scroll down the page a little.

Today's sales are packed and gone. I have filled my oil lamps and hooked up my sewing machine to the treadle. Dinner is baking in the (gas) oven and I fed livestock early. If I didn't get ready you can bet there would be power cuts.

I am finally going to piece the back for my Yin Yang throw.

Y'all come back!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Better Late Than Never

Busy, busy busy, our first batch of calves are arriving and sales are relatively brisk. What is relatively you wonder? I have had busier Holiday Seasons but compared to the rest of the year and last Christmas, I am not complaining. See all our quilt patterns here and apron patterns here.

Quiltie goals were set very low last week; to piece bias binding, for both the Yin Yang throw and the red and white quickie project. The fabric for the quickie binding shown at left, is probably the nicest used in the entire quilt. A backing is pieced and the whole project is packaged together in the "to be quilted" box. Done!

My extra backing and binding fabric for the Yin Yang throw arrived and completing that is my goal for this week. I WILL make some "me" time, right after I finish my morning chores.

Y'all come back!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


an illustration from a Victorian edition of The Three Princes of Serendip
Serendipity has two meanings
  1. aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident
  2. good fortune or luck

I love words and the history of this one is fascinating. It was coined by Horace Walpole (1717-92) who was a fascinating historical and literary figure. He said he formed it from the Persian fairy tale "The Three Princes of Serendip" whose heroes
"were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity,of things they were not in quest of."
Serendip is an old name for Ceylon which is now called Sri Lanka.

I am almost finished with my Christmas shopping, almost all of it online this year. One more gift to buy locally and mail this weekend and I will be done.

As a buyer when I find a seller who carries things I like I tend to return again and again, there are generally no unpleasant surprises that way.

From time to time there are pleasant surprises from new sellers. A serendipitous discovery for me a little while ago was a Bonanza seller Handmade Designs by TD who designs and makes her own costume jewelry. I bought a gift for my best friend's sister, the price was beyond reasonable as was the shipping. Imagine my surprise to get a small gift from her to me tucked into the package. Not only that but (to be truthful) I didn't expect much of the item I bought, the price was so low. It was a bauble, a geegaw, a moment's pleasure and a smile, nothing more. Well I was wrong, beautifully made and well made my gift will give many winter and holiday seasons of pleasure.

Truly a moment of serendipity!

Y'all come back!