Whimsical and Homespun Art Creations with a Little Rural Living Thrown In

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A New Year and Sleigh Bells

Happy New Year to all my blogging friends!  Here in Northern Illinois, we welcomed the New Year with a heavy dusting of snow.   It was beautiful, and our town's first real snow for the winter season.  Made me think of a purchase I made back in May.... Some gorgeous sleigh bells.

These are the real deal.  Horse sweated on leather and all!  I fell in love with them at the What Cheer Flea Market.  I purchased the largest strand first for fear of losing them to another thrifty hunter.  Later after showing Mr. Hollow my find, we went back and purchased the other two.  Their sound is amazing!  Classic sleigh riding jingles.  Makes me think of my Dad and his stories of growing up around the big work horses.  I can just imagine how grand they would look in these strands.

Just look at the size of the largest bell!

Even the Shepherdess said the sleigh bells were really neat!  Trust me, she is a hard one to impress.  Lol  The purchase kind of encompassed the tone (in more ways than one) for 2018... A year of reflection, nostalgia, and perseverance.  Maybe turning 50 had something to do with it as well.  Either way, these bells enchant me and fill the air with the sound of inviting merriment.  I give them the honor of being the best purchase of 2018.  :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is enjoying a Wonderful Christmas!  I have been lounging around tonight soaking in the Christmas lights and gearing up for formulating my New Year's life enhancement list (sounds a little more optimistic and achievable than resolutions!  lol).  Let me tell you, a lot of reflection is going on...  The second half of 2018 has been unbelievably crazy beyond words.  It has kept me away from my blogging friends/family and my many of my artistic endeavors.   After a long talk with my sister yesterday, I now realize the need to shake off past distractions and focus on my family, my passions, and me.  No more pushing off my pursuits.   I am going to empower myself with a new word to live by for 2019 which is going to be... insert drumroll... Actualize.   The definition of actualize is to make real.  I love it!   I will hold off on the details of my choice of a word for now, since today should be spent with great consideration to our faith,  spending time sharing joyful moments with our families, and (in my case)  eating way to much delicious  food.  ;)      
From My Family to Yours,
A Very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Grrr... I Have Been Candy Corner Grinched!

What is the old saying?  Measure twice and cut once.  Well, this wouldn't have helped me much with the Candy Corner Pattern from Robert Kaufmann Fabrics for the Grinch Halloween Quilt.  Maybe, a test triangle would've helped?  Not sure.   Can you believe there was a flaw in their paper piecing pattern?  Unfortunately, I found it after I cut out 48 triangle templates and used two different fabric colors to construct them.  Half a days work lost.  The problem was crazy stupid.  When you lay out the design for a paper piecing block or in this case a triangle, a designer has to remember the image you want to construct will be the layout on the reverse side of the line drawing.  I should have caught the error with the sample triangle in the pattern looking identical to the line drawing.  It does not work that way in paper piecing.   I am now the owner of 48 useless triangles.  Grrrr….

They are so beautifully useless for this project.  *sigh*   I let my knowledge of this being an older quilt pattern blind me to the fact that there could be an error.  Little did I know another problem reared its head shortly after.  This truly is an old pattern and so is the fabric... Yes, old fabric...  It took quite a bit of searching to locate 2 yards of fabric to replace the lost yardage.  Thanks to sellers on eBay, I was able to get the replacement fabric.  The extra $24.00 added to the pattern kit is going to make this a pricey little quilt.  That really drove the lesson home.

I did decide to contact Robert Kaufmann Fabrics to let them know of the error.  I received a friendly email assuring me that my problem was being reported to the marketing department.  Nothing has changed on their site.  I am sure with a pattern this old nobody cares, but I think it is still worthy of a correction. There is still a quilt kit of this pattern being sold on eBay.   I am staying positive and am foraging on with my beloved Seuss quilt with more to follow.  Like they say, every quilt has a story.   I will not let this dampen my enthusiasm.  I am thankful the fabric was able to be replaced and will cut, piece and sew 48 replacement triangles.  And yes, I still do love paper piecing.  That fact will never change.  :)

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Maquoketa Iowa Flea Market Finds

Today, my hubby and I went to a Flea Market in Maquoketa, Iowa to relax from a long week. Great choice, since they were packed to capacity with outside vendors.  I still love to walk around the inside venue as well.  It was there I found a vintage Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck puzzle, along with a cool flour sack and child's hand held chalk board.  Total spent $10.00... Not bad.  Then, I went to the outside.  I could not believe the amount of vendors!  The weather was beautiful, and the grounds have never been so filled with sellers.

My first find was a couple of washed out Funk Feedsacks to be used in embroidery projects and another flour sack.  I ambled along until I caught up with Hubby.  He pointed out an aluminum tree stand.  It would work great to anchor my small Christmas tree holding my Shiney Brites.  But as I was looking at it, my eye caught a vintage slate chalkboard balancing against the table leg on the ground level.  The chalkboard was heavy and awesome.  My Hubby rolled his eyes and held his breath, but I went ahead and made an offer for the bundle.  Deal done!  And you know what?   Mr. Hollow even carried the chalkboard for me during the rest of our hunt.  How sweet was that? :)  I even stayed on my budget spending only $30.00 for all of my outdoor finds... Until...

Mr. Hollow decided to do some shopping for himself!  How would his shopping involve me?  Well, read on...  ;)

Hubby’s favorite stop to shop is a gentlemen, who we see on the Flea Market venues, that sells tools.  Hold your breath you are not going to believe this!!   The tool guy had a treadle sewing machine?!? She was so beautiful and definitely had been someone’s pride and joy… A well cared for Montgomery Ward Damascus. The decals were phenomenal, and she was in perfect working order. She even came with her original book and attachments. I don’t know if she was a good buy at the asking price of $100.00, and overwhelmed by her glory, I honestly didn’t care... I have wanted a treadle for so long. All of my run ins over the years were basement rotted disappointments that were beyond repair. My hubby, searching for treasures for himself, looked at me in horror as I asked the tool guy for his absolute bottom buck on this vintage treasure. He responded quickly with $80.00 before my hubby could get a word in of caution. I looked quickly at Mr. Hollow, told him I was sorry, and gave the gentlemen 4 twenty dollar bills. The rest is left to be written in Maquoketa Flea Marketing history!  Well aside from the tool guy and his son harassing my hubby mercilessly.  LOL

Can you blame me?  Just look at her... *sigh*

What a great way to start the wind down to the 2018 season of hunting treasures!  :)

P.S. Once hubby found out she would load in the back of our Jeep standing up, his demeanor improved dramatically! LOL

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

July Happenings

I cannot believe we are at the end of July.  This month was a busy month but still seemed to fly by!  I spent the weekends out hunting deals at the Flea Markets, spent a Monday serving jury duty and ended that week celebrating my 50th birthday, spun like a crazy woman during the Tour de Fleece on Ravelry, and got my quilt pieces cut for my Grinch Halloween Quilt... along with working my day job.  It was a blast!

Here is the disassembled Grinch quilt.  It will be paper pieced.  Paper piecing?  Haven't done that for a while.  I actually had to watch a YouTube video to refresh my memory.  Paper piecing is one of my favorite ways to quilt.  I cannot wait to begin the assembling process, but the piecing was put on hold while I spun for the Tour de Fleece...

Tour de Fleece took its tole on all of us.  As you can see, a few ladies couldn't handle the pace. lol  Lots and lots of wool spinning.  It is my favorite event on Ravelry!  

Luckily, I took my birthday off from work and made a long weekend of spinning.  The Shepherdess and I spent the morning of my birthday going to a quilt shop, coffee shop for lunch, and an antique shop to round up the trip.  The following week, I did a little hunting on the internet and found a gentleman on Ebay selling sewing parts.  I inquired about a stitch dial for my 3/4 size Kenmore 158.1030.  (It is the niftiest little sewing machine but arrived to my home with a broken dial.)  He had one!!  He not only sold it to me but took photos on how to install it.  What a great seller!   Big thanks to Scott and five stars to his seller store found under Flapicker.  :)

I think it will do its maiden voyage piecing the Grinch quilt.  It is so light and portable.  If you can find one, I highly recommend the style.

August is right around the corner.  So much to do and so little time! ;)

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Nature's Fireworks & Lambie Cuteness

Weeks ago, I purchased a flowering mixed plant for my container on the corner of my front porch.  With the crazy hot weather, it has been struggling to adapt.  Mr. Hollow and I were gone all day yesterday for a wedding and left bright and early this morning to go flea marketing.  Look what I found when I got home!  My plant is beginning to bloom.  The bursts of color reminds me of fireworks.

Thought I would share some of the Lambie cuteness happening over at the farm.  Here is Syd catching a snooze in his Mom Sadi's dinner.

We use to wish for black lambs that would REALLY stay black. This year's lambs or should I say ewes delivered big time!  Here is just one of about 5 black lambs born to the farm.  Oh... and that is not my finger in the upper right corner.  It is our wether Sam's ear.  He loves attention and being petted.  I had to keep pushing him to the side to get a descent photo. LOL

Syd decided to do a little posing with his brother Sky.  They are absolutely beautiful.  Unfortunately, I believe they will being going up for adoption. Farmerboy does not want to have a bunch of rams.  These little guys have the most gorgeous crimpy fine fleece like their Daddy Spiez.  I am waiting and dreading to hear what the kid's are going to keep for the flock... They are all so darn cute and charming too!

I think their Shepherdess is going to be dreading the decision as well.  She can be caught between chores sitting somewhere in the barnyard with a little flock of babies surrounding her...   

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Review of Etsy Store ~ Southern Glory Goods Co

Southern Glory Goods Co is a store on Etsy (here) carrying vintage feedsack purses, totes, clutches, aprons, pillows, slow poured candles, potpourri, and soooo much more from North Carolina artist Lisa Vann.  I stumbled across her store while searching for a replacement of my faux leather Chinese production purse.  No hate here.  My China made purse has served me well, got loads of compliments and wore well considering the price paid, but it was time for a change.  I have never been happy with traditional purses, so it was time to turn to a talented fiber artist to make me happy.  And let me tell you, Lisa did NOT disappoint... And ask my family, I am crazy picky about handcrafted quality.  She combined my love of collecting vintage feed sacks (also her love too!) with a nice size purse/tote and kept it stylish.  Her sewing skills blew me away!  Just look...

My first love was obviously the feedsack / sturdy tote combo.  I always have dreamed of the perfect marriage of a purse with vintage muslin feedsacks.  Well, here is the answer to my wishes.   This wonderful snap closure tote showcases two feedsacks that double as pockets on the outside and inside... tons of storage!  This blue side was the first feedsack to win me over... not sure why... it just did.  (Although she has a blue tote with a sugar feedsack still calling to me. ;) Drat!! )

Here is the other side.  Painstakingly vintage patched feedsack.  It sings to my heart friends!  Since seeing it in person, I am now favoring this side.  Hmmm... Well, I can always flip it back and forth depending on the outfit. ;)

A peek at the inside.  Loads of small pockets with a snap closure.   Flawless!  :)

Can't buy a purse without a clutch!  This was purchased to keep my check book and smaller items in. 

Zipper closure, padded and lined!

Both sides are equally impressive!

Mr. Hollow was just as amazed as myself about Lisa's skills as a fashion designer and creator.  This purse/tote is expertly sewn and pieced together.  Well worth the money paid.  I commented to Mr. Hollow about my intentions of purchasing more in the future.  My hubby never argued.  Although he did mention this morning, about contacting her to make a DeKalb one for our area.  We could even locate a bag to send her... After the conversation, I got on Etsy and nearly fell over.  Look what Lisa listed today!!!  She must be able to read minds as well. LOL   I still love that darn blue sugar feedsack tote (still available in her store), but I had to purchase this one to represent the area.  Alas, the blue sugar tote will wait for another day... Unless another one catches my eye first! ;)

If you want a beautifully crafted tote with some vintage snazziness or some of Lisa's other eye catching creations, check out Southern Glory Goods Co..  Lisa Vann is living her dream, as I am sure destiny intended.  Her love and her God gifted talent lives in every detail of her creations.  Check out her charming store on Etsy here.

***  My reviews from the past to current have never been based on items gifted to me for review.  I simply believe in taking some of my hard earned money to make purchases from a wonderful world of talented artists and sharing with my friends those individuals who shine extra bright.  :)