Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Piece of Artwork and Baby Doves

Hey everybody,

It is a gorgeous day here and I should be outside working in the yard but am still lingering over my coffee after the road trip. Once I go outside, I won't come back in and I wanted to share something with you.

While at my daughter's, I took another picture of the piece of artwork I made for her a few years ago. I got the idea from a Somerset magazine article but mine is quite different. The art in the article was made from paper but I changed mine to fabric. I made seven different pieces for friends and to sell and still don't have one of my own. Every time I see this one, which is the first and favorite one, I can't believe I made it. I had it professionally framed, which was the expensive part. They are so much fun to make. The gray feather is from an African Gray parrot. The gold feather at the bottom is from one of my chickens. The leaves are some of the gazillion I tend to collect.

Each one of these pieces I've made have no resemblance to the other except for the overall idea. I made one for a friend whose last name is Beach. Hers had shells she had kept from when she was in high school, which made it very sentimental to her. I used a sand dollar for the centerpiece of hers.

I have got to make one of these for myself one day!
...and look how much the babies have grown! They are going to be beautiful!!! I know, they're nest is very messy - guess I need to replace it.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Back from D. C.

Hey Everybody,

I got back from my visit a few hours ago. I've already mowed the front yard and gotten a few things done around the house but wanted to upload some pictures from my visit.

Little Ginny is precious and has two very doting parents! I've never seen a new daddy so in love before. Neither of those two can keep their hands of their new baby and are always petting her or something. It's so sweet :) Here's the happy little family - Aaron, Erin and Ginny.
And Nana (me) holding the baby burrito
It was a quick but very nice visit. Erin and I went out for a little while yesterday and I bought Ginny the cutest little Winnie the Pooh romper for summer with a matching sun hat and socks! I didn't take a picture of them but I'm sure when summer gets here, Erin will be sure to send me one of Ginny wearing the outfit. It was so cute.

I stopped at Hancock's Fabrics before leaving this morning and got fabrics to start Ginny's special baby quilt. I can't wait to get started on it but this week is shaping up to be another busy one. I'll post more about that later. For now, I need to unpack and then look at all my fabrics and new Quilting Arts magazine that came while I was away.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Meeting Baby Ginny

I'm headed to the D.C. area to meet my new granddaughter, Virginia Kathleen (Ginny). I hope you all have a nice weekend!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Baby Dove Update

Well, I did it - I pulled my back for the first time in my life. I've been laying on a heating pad for half the day. It all caught up with me at the food show yesterday. It's my own fault for not stretching before doing all the lifting and pulling I've been doing the last several days.

The food show was quite interesting and I sure did learn a lot. The free food was great - they had everything you can think of there. This was for people in the restaurant business to see the latest and greatest prepared foods. Did you know that those delicious soups you get in a lot of restaurants are pre-made and come in huge frozen bags and the restaurant just throws them in a kettle to thaw out? Same for the red skin mashed potatoes! I often wondered how the soups came out tasting exactly the same way every time. Now I know.

I hope to work on some sewing projects tomorrow - nothing strenuous. In the mean time, here is a picture of the baby doves at 10 and 9 days old. I can't believe how fast they are growing!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

I'm About Sick of Construction Projects

Ugh - what a day. I had to go to Lowes to return a few things and stood in line for about 15 minutes. Then headed to the garden area to buy 12 landscape timbers. I didn't look at the price; they used to be a couple of dollars. Well, my bill came to $70+ after I got 3 plants so went back inside to stand in line again to "return" the landscape timbers. They were almost $4/each! I could get some pressure treated 2 x 4 for $2.49 each, so that's what I did. Customer Service is so poor at my Lowes. Once again I had to load all the stuff myself.

One nice thing did happen while I was inside though. I recognized one of the men who installed my laminate in the den a couple of years ago. I stopped him and struck up a conversation. He didn't remember me and I had to keep telling him that I had a house full of dogs and other things to try to jar his memory. Then I embarassed him to death (on purpose - hee hee) by telling him that I couldn't believe he didn't remember me after I had actually flirted with him and his brother. Now bear in mind, they were both considerably younger than me and both married - I was just teasing them when they were finished with the job. Then he remembered me. We started talking about dogs and he said he got a little Maltese and had to show me a picture of it. Then we started talking about spaying and neutering and rescue and I told him where he could get his pooch neutered pronto for the lowest price.

I told him I was getting ready to attempt to install the same laminate in my living room and wish I could just pay him to do it, but everybody tells me I can do it myself. He told me I could do it too but gave me his phone number and told me to call him and he would be happy to get me started. Wasn't that sweet?!? Once somebody gets me started, I know I can do it myself and save a bunch of $$.

It was well after noon by the time I got started on the new chicken run. Digging the post holes was the easy part. Because I tend to jerry-rig a lot of things, it makes it very difficult to take things apart. I had laced together several pieces of deer net with fine wire. There was wire all over the place. I wanted to reuse the deer net and wire so painstakingly took it all apart. I know that took over two hours. Finally I was able to attach deer net to the new posts. It will have to do for now. At some point I have to put a lattice roof on it but not any time soon. I had to get something over the top of the run so I can let the hens out tomorrow before I go to work at the greenhouses. The posts are 8 feet tall, so I'll be able to walk in there when it's truly finished. Here are some very embarassing "before" pictures: The tarps were new last summer; they don't last long at all!
Wendy, one of my outdoor kitties, stayed with me all day and supervised.
I didn't get any work done close to the barn. That's a separate piece of wire for the top, and I have to secure it better. Plus I can now take out those blocks and poles holding it up. I told you I jerry rig stuff like crazy

I know you can't really tell in these pictures that this is the improved run, but if you could see it, you would see a huge difference. It's slightly larger and the deer net is attached to the wood posts now, instead of sagging down old curtain rods.
Anyway - that's how I spent my day. Once again I'm tired...and grouchy. I'm headed for bed. I'm sick of construction at the moment.

Still Building

Hi everybody,

Before I forget, I wanted to let you know the bunny on my new bench didn't come from Lowes. I bought it the week I went with Gail to pick up some concrete products for her new shop. I think the mold is a common one, so keep your eyes peeled for it in your favorite garden shops.

Thank you all for the encouraging comments about the arbor. I'm glad it's up and am pleased with the structure it's given the front yard - just what I needed. Building it really boosted my self confidence to make some larger things.

Since I have a busy week working at the greenhouse and going to a food show (oh boy), today is the only day I can work on another construction project - a chicken run. My poor chickens have a make-shift run made from rebar, old curtain rods and whatever else I could find to hold up some chicken wire. It's sagging and looks awful so it's off to Lowes to buy some landscape timbers and more lumber to make a proper run. It won't be hard, but I have to dig a bunch of holes to sink the timbers in. At least the ground is very moist and easy to dig in right now. In a couple of weeks it will be hard as bricks. I'll post pics of before and after when it's finished.

In the mean time, please feast your eyes on this gorgeous unidentified plant somebody gave me years ago. It's an indoor plant and I think in the iris family. It only gives a few blooms each spring and they last two days. That's it! The petals are already curling back when I got the pictures and it was wilted the next day. If anybody knows what this is, I'd sure love to know!!

Have a great day everybody!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Much Better!

Just a quick post; I'm pooped after working in the greenhouse all day.

My arbor just wasn't right. I have a million gardening books and do you think I looked at one of them before building my arbor? No. I just started sawing and screwing together. I knew it didn't look right so as soon as I got home this evening, I let the dogs out and went right to work making changes. I am much happier with it now and can't wait to paint and decorate it. I still have the side trellis part to make but that won't take long at all. And I haven't spaced and bolted the top pieces yet either; that will wait till tomorrow....or the next day.

I probably won't be able to move tomorrow after taking down about 200 fern plants, weeding and sorting and then hanging them back up again. There was a lot of reaching as far as I could involved! I'm headed for bed - nighty night everybody!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Gardening and Baby Dove Update

It's that time of year where all of a sudden, I'm overwhelmed with yard and garden work. The peonies have started to come up and a lot of other perennials too. Weeds are everywhere and I've got a million things to cut down, spray, mulch and repair.

I desperately need structural things in my front yard. I've wanted an arbor for a long time but the ones I like are too pricey for me to buy. I knew I could make one but I get frustrated because none of my projects turn out perfect the way I want them. Well, I got some birthday money from my mother and had a Lowes gift card from my daughter and her hubby leftover from Christmas, so I headed to Lowes today and went shopping.

They have all their spring stuff in and as soon as I saw this little bench, I knew I was getting it - and a matching flower pot too. It's made of resin but looks just like concrete.
I bought some lumber to make a small arbor and got this far today. I still have decorative scroll brackets to put on the sides and then reinforce it. I really prefer the arched arbors but was impatient. It will look better once it's covered with yellow jasimine.
I checked in on the baby doves this evening and their eyes are open already! They seem to be doing quite well. They're so ugly they're cute. I'm giving the parents plenty of food and water every day, as instructed by my friends who gave them to me.

I'm starting a part time job tomorrow at Gail's garden center. I'm really looking forward to it even though I'll probably spend all my pay there. Oh well, easy come, easy go! Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Look what the UPS man just brought from my sister (who says she isn't talented)!!!

She calls it "A Touch of Pink" for the pink Saturday postings, but I'm not waiting.
She told me that she sent me a book of some sort, but I couldn't stop yelling long enough to open it. Plus it was wrapped is such pretty paper that I hated to tear it open. Look at the details in this!!! Oh my gosh!!! She needs to submit her stuff to Somerset, don't you think?? I'll take another picture of it full length so you can see it entirely. For now I have it on a side table where I can see it all the time and it looks nice there. I might end up hanging it on a wall. It's beautiful; the pictures don't do it justice.
Now here's what she said she sent me - I've picked up this book every time I've seen it but wouldn't let myself buy it. And she made the sweetest card. As hard as I try, I just can't make pretty cards like this. It even has a cool stamp on the back of it.

The book was meticulously wrapped in this pretty paper and tied with rafia. It even has a slight scent of lavender; I'm not sure if it's the paper or if it's the scarf but it smells so nice! I'm saving the paper; I can do something with it for sure.

I give nice gifts but am a sloppy wrapper; I was laughing the whole time I was looking at it; she was on the phone with me and must have thought I'd lost my mind.

This really has been the best birthday I've had in years!! Happy day!

oops - I left out something

I also bought this cute little pattern to make small storage boxes. It was designed by Karen West, who works at Thimble Pleasures.

Happy Birthday To Me

I know, I was singing the Twelve Days of Christmas yesterday and now Happy Birthday. Actually, yesterday was my birthday and I had such a fun day. Let me tell you what I did...

After taking care of some fun business, I picked up my friend, Alyce, and she treated me to lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. We both had yummy crab cake sandwiches and fries and were too full for any dessert. Then we headed to Thimble Pleasures, a really great quilt shop. I hadn't been there since before Christmas and was really excited to go back. They have so many fabrics, patterns and books and everything else in this small and quaint space that they've decided to move to a bigger location. BTW - they now offer on-line ordering.

I tend to get overwhelmed when I go into a place that has so many beautiful things to chose from so I took a little list of fabrics that I was looking for. I wanted some pretty tea related fabrics but they had sold all of them and were waiting for the new order to come in. But another item on my list was fun fabrics, and I found plenty of those to chose from. The very first one that I saw, I knew I had to have...so many fun possibilities and I can't wait to work with this one:
This is a coordinate for the bathing suits

These were so fresh and happy and I love most anything with birds or feathers on them

And this one I got specifically to make one of Diane's art quilts with - sorry the pic is a little fuzzy...

And this one caught my eye because it has tiny cherries on it...I don't know why I'm attracted to cherries right now.
After we left the fabric store, we stopped at a cool garden-related home interior shop and I got this; it fits in my home perfectly.

It was late afternoon and we were both ready to go home, so I dropped Alyce off and headed back to meet my daughter, Laura, and Alissa. They had a surprise for me! I love surprises :) Look at the beautiful earrings they gave me:
And last but certainly not least, my older daughter and her hubbie sent me this. Oh boy can I have some fun!

There is a beautiful carousel inside this mall and of course Alissa had to have a ride; she had the whole thing to herself.

After my big day out, I was tired and happy. It was the best birthday I've had in a long time :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Two turtle doves....this is what I came home to today. I'll write all about my big day tomorrow.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Baby Dove #1 Arrived!

I'm so excited! Here I am on the computer paying bills when I hear lots of fluttering in the next room. I new right away one of the cats was terrifying the doves so ran in to chase the culprit out. Then I saw this and thought - oh no, Sarah pecked one of the eggs and threw it out of the nest; she only wants one baby!
Then I thought - wait a minute...check the nest to be sure. Look! Momma is being very protective. Don't worry Sarah, I wouldn't hurt your baby.
Here is proud daddy (Alex) being introduced to baby #1. One minute later, Alex is sitting on the nest giving Sarah a break. How sweet!

Baby doves are quite ugly but in two weeks, this one will be as gorgeous as it's parents! Geez - now what do I do????

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Vintage Retail Therapy

Hi again - twice in one day :)

I haven't had the best week - just a little down in the dumps trying to figure out what direction to take finding a job. Well, I've been wanting to look around in some local antique and thrift shops and today I went out in the rain and did just that. No, I shouldn't be spending money on unnecessary items right now, but I did on a few things that have brought me little crumbs of happiness, so I guess it was money well spent.

I saw so many things in this antique shop from my childhood and they made me smile. There was a vase in there just like one that my grandmother had but it was red and white, and the one she had was blue and white. If it had been blue and white, I would have bought it. These are the things I came home with. None are terribly old by any means, but I liked them.

This one is my absolute favorite; I could use him for so many things but for now he is just setting on my little spice rack. It's a small open box and the front of it is a Scottie dog.
I bought the whiskey decanter because I love Canada Geese so much, and thought this was very pretty. The little dog was just cute
and the tin will bring some fresh color to the top of my kitchen cabinets
When I went on a road trip with my friend Gail last Thursday, I picked up a spice rack for $5. I'm going to paint it but just stuck in on the wall as is for now. Originally, I was going to put some sewing related items on it but changed my mind.

While I'm going down memory lane, do any of you remember either of these little toys? I remember getting the little black chalkware baby for 10 cents at Woolworths when I was very, very little. They were all just piled together in a glass bin; her arms and legs are connected with string.
I got this little mouse toy for a birthday when I was maybe about 9 or 10 years old (just guessing). He comes apart and each section of him is a top. His name was Mr. ...something..that's the part I can't remember. I've always loved both of these little toys and am surprised they've survived all the moves in my life.