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

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Thrifty Find ~ Pfaff 130 Sewing Machine

It feels like autumn here in Northern Illinois.  Great weather for hitting the weekend flea markets.  I know that my vacation finds still need to be posted (Plus, our semi annual jaunt to Baraboo Gas and Steam Engine show... Yipee!), but this little beauty had me so excited that its story must be told first...
Mr. Hollow and I rose early for a 2 hour drive on Sunday to a small weekend flea market in Wisconsin.  Usually, we find one or two small items and some produce.  I shudder to write that  my first extremely, and now a little regretting, "tempted to purchase"  pass was on a spinning wheel at a great price...  Hmmm... Do I really need two?    Then, I talked myself out of some cool jars.  (Makes you wonder why I got up at the crack of dawn doesn't it?)   Finally, my hubby waves me over to a pile of goods laying in the grass in front of a pickup truck.  He must of asked me three times what I thought of the item in the farthest corner.  Maybe it was the sun glare, but it took me all of the three times to see this Pfaff 130 sewing machine.  Did I really need another sewing machine? ;)
I skeptically walked over while the vendors, a man and his teenage son, stood watching.  Wow!  This machine was really clean.  Definitely someone's baby.  The decals shown absolutely perfect with the paint smooth and shiny without a  single chip.  The man nodded to his son to walk over and do the haggling... Yep, me versus a very sweet teenage boy. 
The young man assured me the machine worked.  Pointed out that the handle was broke on the cover.  (Hard to believe that the case belonged to this pristine machine!)  He also stated, the machine was very heavy to carry, since he was the one who loaded it in the truck to take to the market.  Poor kid... After that confession,  I am sure Mr. Hollow was afraid he could talk me into any price! :(   I decided at that moment to just ask the price, figuring it would be hideous, making my  polite get away a little easier.  So, I did.  The young man replied 5 dollars.   Seriously, how do you bicker over that?  I really do not need another machine but are you kidding me 5 DOLLARS?   I looked over at his Dad.  He was smiling -very proud of the job his son was doing- nodding in agreement.  What kind of heartless quilter would say "let me think about it" to such a duo for that price?  Long story short, I have a new machine in the fold!  :)
We arrived home by afternoon, and the Pfaff was humming away an hour later.  I consider this heavy duty machine a "he" that until a few minutes ago was yet to be named... And yet to be cleaned!    I am just floored by the immaculate shape of this machine...  His previous owner's address label was still adhered to his under carriage, along with the shop that he was purchased from in Janesville, Wisconsin.   
I have had to do some research on the Pfaff 130.  The sites say it is from the 50's and can plow through 4 layers of leather.  Now that my friends is a work horse!  Not really sure if I need this kind of a machine... But my projects are continually changing, so it could very well be a future life saver.  You never know with me! :)

I notice that only a few have the "Made in Western - Germany" decal.  Most are Germany.  Talk about a blast from the past! 

While adding captions to the photos, I was reminded that his previous owner's name was Fred.  Being the spur of a moment kind of gal that I am (which explains all of my pets' weird names!),  this Pfaff is going to have the name Friedrich in honor of his previous owner.  Sounds very distinguished doesn't it?  Welcome to the Hollow, Friedrich Pfaff.   :)

Monday, August 10, 2015

127 Corridor Yard Sale 2015

The 127 Corridor Yard Sale is over for another year.  *sigh*  Mr. Hollow and I ran solo, since Farmerboy decided to stay home and house sit.  Our starting destination... the tip top of Kentucky.  (While planning our trip, we decided to run for 2 days -- ending near Crossville, Tennessee.)
During the week, the weather forecast called for warm temps, possible storms and 40% chance of rain.  Mr. Hollow and I remained positive.  If there is one thing the weather has taught us this year, it is to make the best out of a wet situation.  So... we arrived filled with optimism at our motel in 80 degree sunny weather and woke up the following morning to rain... A torrential downpour actually. 
Taking advantage of our dry room, we delayed our departure.  When the rain suddenly turned to mist,  our search began!  :)   A few sales had to be passed, since the proprietors decided they did not want to greet the morning weather.   No worries though... There were plenty other venues open.  The mist let up periodically, and we had blessed overcast skies with temps in the mid 70's!  Yippee!!       

The first day would see us arrive at our motel around 4 o'clockish, which is not out of the ordinary.  After having a light supper, I made use of my Kindle loaded with newly purchased episodes of "Flea Market Flip".   Kind of appropriate,  right?  ;)

On the second day,  the weather man promised skies of blue with temps in the 80's.  This pic is the only sun our travels would see for the day...  The very last venue attended.  I am not complaining though, the temps stayed in the 70's under overcast skies.  Beautiful mild weather that mocked Fall.  Our hunt lasted until 6 o'clock and was an absolute blast. :) 

If you have not attended a 127 sale, I highly recommend it.  One little tidbit of advice:  Around mid afternoon, figure out the town you would like to end in, call ahead and book a room.  The motel stays are few and far between. 

Today, I am finishing my unpacking, cleaning some finds and getting some groceries.  With a quick peek at the local thrift store thrown in!  ;)    It is always nice to be home and unwind a little before heading back to work.  I feel like I have been gone for months!  A post will follow soon with some of my finds for this year.

A huge thanks to all the vendors, old and new,  who endured the torrential rains.  You are all the greatest!  And to the fellow scavengers that we laughed and talked with at breakfast and met along the route, we hope to see you all happy and well next year!  :)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Rutledge, Missouri & Maquoketa, Iowa Flea Market Finds

Mr. Hollow and I have been trying to get some traveling in on the non-rainy weekends; although, they are few and far between! ;)   The summer is speeding by so fast.  Our intentions are to get as much running in as possible before the cold weather is upon us again. The amount of rain has us at a slow start this season,  but it has also made us more grateful for the sunny fun filled outings. 
Maquoketa, Iowa had their annual flea market at the fair grounds.  The morning was beautiful and overcast.  The blessed cloudy skies gave us a break from the hot and humid July temps.  The indoor venue had a lot of antique vendors .  I was surprised to find a wonderful display of Alfalfa feed sacks (9 to be exact) and a few Fulton heavy duty sacks.  The wonderful lady was only asking a dollar a piece!   I just love the sage green against the cream of the feed sack cloth. :)

An outdoor vendor had a stack of woven soybean sacks.  I have been on the search for ones like these that have a tighter weave and strong coloring.   These should do nicely for a pattern that I have been working on. 

The rainy weekends have been relentless in these parts.  Mr. Hollow and I decided to take an overnight trip to check out the Rutledge, Missouri flea market.  Believe it or not, the weather man was predicting rain. :(  We took some time off from our jobs and went anyway.  I am so glad that we did, since the weather was absolutely beautiful!  Here are a few of my finds from the trip...

My first purchase at $2.00 was for some pie tins.  As you can see, they are marked Lucille's pies.    They will go great with my small collection and will be special to me since Lucille is my maternal grandmother's name.  :)

The same vendor had a trunk full of medium sized plastic letters for a dollar a piece... some red and some black.  The red ones would lite up fairly easily.  Mr. Hollow picked out ones to spell our last name twice and then enough to spell my son and his fiancé's first names.  Yes I wrote it, fiancé.  My Farmerboy has gotten himself engaged! 

This looks like a muffin tin, but it is actually straight sided for small cakes.  It is from Chicago and heavy duty for industrial sized ovens.  I had thought of having a friend cut it down for me, but a few other ideas for it have popped into my head.  This piece will remain uncut, until I can be sure... Hmmm. ;)

I love handmade rag rugs.  There is a local dealer that I purchase them from.  You cannot beat their durability.  This one is a long runner, and the photo does not due the apricot color justice.  The vendor was such a nice man to chat with.  His array of rugs were simply breath taking.  He even had some made from white chenille bedspreads!  If it weren't for my black cat, they would have been mine.  Absolutely lovely!!  This one is a strong couple of yards long, created from an acrylic bedspread.   It was the best $20.00 that I spent on the trip. 

It was so nice to visit a new area and have a relaxing trip and break from the work routine.  This past week, I have been taking the time to reorganize my studio.  There are a lot of projects building up that need to be worked on.  I guess, I can thank the rain today for keeping me home! ;)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Vintage Bucilla Alphabet Quilt ~ WIP

Here is the progress on the vintage Bucilla Alphabet quilt.  The colors are so funky bright, and the little characters are charming.  They really should have kept making this quilt.  It is such a wonderful starting place for newbies to embroidery.  I have been stretching my knowledge with this one.  I inadvertently screwed up the pattern by using the outline stitch instead of a backstitch around the main characters.  Funny thing... My Mom was certain she used the outline stitch when she made my sister's.  Talk about channeling the past! ;)
E is for Elephant...  Very exotic looking isn't he?

F is for Frog... I was so proud of how the satin stitch worked out on his eyes!!

G is for goose...  His beak looks a little weird due to the hoop being just removed off it.  :(

H is for Humpty Dumpty (in progress)...  Is he still popular?  LOL

These character quilts are so fun, but I really need to reduce my stash!  With my million other interests, it will be hard to complete them all.  Plus, I really doubt Farmerboy is going to have that many kids! LOL

Thursday, June 25, 2015

An Ashford Traditional Spinning Wheel

May was such a crazy month at work for me... So much to do!  I really do not mind being busy, since it makes the hours speed by, but there are certain months that are just insanely busy...  May is one of them.    As a reward for my perseverance, my "I so want to have Someday" wish list came out, and I picked a dream item to splurge on.  
Sensing that I was up to something, Mr. Hollow waited for the lightening to strike.  When the box arrived, all he said was, "Please don't tell me that you bought a spinning wheel."  "Okay," I said.  "But I did. :)"  He shook his head as if in disgust and walked away.   Of course, I knew secretly he was intrigued...  I think... ;)

The box, with New Zealand markings, sat in our living room for a few days, since I was still pretty tired at night.  Then, it was time for assembling.  Just me, a disassembled spinning wheel and a numbered instruction list with parts that I have NEVER heard of before.  Needless to say, it was not a pretty beginning.  Mr. Hollow walked by a few times... spying on my lack of progress.  Two more passes later,  he couldn't stand  it a minute longer and grabbed the straight blade screwdriver out of my hand and took over the build.  After some bickering, assembling, more bickering and an inspection of any parts that I had worked on by myself, the Ashford Traditional spinning wheel was finally together.  Mr. Hollow insisted, even after my objections, on using the lime green poly cord included with the wheel.  I still think, the combination of fire and the challenge of melding two plastic ends successfully had something to do with his insistence. ;)

It was late, and I was beat when we finally completed the assembling.  Mr. Hollow spun the wheels a few times to check the mechanics, while I brushed my teeth and headed for restful slumber.  Not very exciting sorry to admit... But the morning welcomed a new day  and within it a beautiful spinning wheel.  *sigh*   I could not have be more pleased. :)   

Forever the optimist and a firm believer in building my wings on the way down,  I watched a few videos on YouTube pertaining to the Ashford Traditional spinning wheel.  I then sat down in front of this beautiful wheel, confident in my ability of having great hand/eye coordination ( Unfortunately, forgetting the fact that I also need  to coordinate my foot as well :( ), and made my first attempt spinning roving from Farmerboy's ram James.

And you know what I found out?  I am sooo not a natural at this!  In fact, I am not very good at all. LOL

Honestly, learning most new things in the realm of art has generally came easy to me.  Narcissistic?... maybe...  but true.  But this piece of Americana, whose predecessors are older than time, has quite easily taken me down in the first round.  This simple machine will definitely be my lesson in perseverance and  patience, and I am currently enjoying every single minute of it!  :)

 I will end this post with my first feeble attempt at spinning James' Shetland wool.  Also, a simple proclamation that if heaven allows and the creeks around here do not rise and wash us out from all of these torrential rains, there will be a two ply ball on display in my studio representing my intro to spinning fibers.  :)

Friday, May 29, 2015

Flea Market Finds

I had made a promise to myself, following the "cabin fever" moment in my life, that I would go to a flea market a weekend for the spring/summer.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature is toying with me... It has rained almost every weekend since! :(  For the most part, Mr. Hollow and I have been lucky in the fact that we could still attend most of the venues.  The luck does not extend to my new running shoes... It's been pretty muddy out there!;)
There were lots of flea markets on Memorial Day Weekend.  Many of those were welcomed in with rain.  Even though the weather was alternating between rain and mist, we headed off to a small venue on Sunday.  The weather held off long enough for finding some treasures!  :)  Here is my small haul...

To my hubby's dismay, I found a couple of boxes.  My new resolution is to be ultra picky and replace some of my shoddy ones.... Yep, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!  ;)   These are in such nice shape and the Ripley's box has the addition of some nice handles.  The card file is a neat piece with a little bit of damage.  My first thought was to have Farmerboy repair it but, looking at it now, the missing corner doesn't really bug me.  It will be so handy for housing my design ideas that I sketch and describe on note cards.  The price for the bundle was $20.00.

Forecast this weekend ... RAIN! LOL

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Kildare Hand Crank Sewing Machine ~ EBay Business Review

This weekend has been littered with Spring rain showers.  So, what better time to rearrange my sewing area?  As I moved around machines, boxes and notions, it occurred to me that I neglected to introduce the newest member of my sewing machine family.  This is a Kildare hand crank sewing machine that was made in England.  This little beauty was purchased on EBay after a trip to the Baraboo Gas and Engine Show.  The Women's Center always puts on a wonderful exhibit for visitors of the old hand cranked Singer machines.  (It just fascinates me to watch a machine function without electricity.)  Right then and there, I decided to "gift" myself a new machine.  Thanks to EBay seller rjones9500, this Kildare arrived at my house and has been an absolute pleasure to spend time sewing with. 

The machine was packed extremely well and did not take hardly any time in transit.  I was very happy with its appearance and performance.  Although I must say, it took me awhile to get use to being coordinated enough to make it run! LOL

The decals are just stunning and that is what sold me on it.  Pretty superficial huh? LOL  I know most quilter's preference is for the Singer brand (I almost went that way), but this one's overall appearance just called to me.  I will confess though... I conversed with the seller via email about his opinion on this brand versus the Singer.   In his opinion, the only difference was parts availability between the brands.  Singers are so much more abundant.  So, I'll take my chances! ;)

This past weekend, Mr. Hollow and I ventured out between rain storms to the Pec Spring Fling in Pecatonica, Illinois.  The Winnebago Fairgrounds host a large flea market.  The weather was kind to us.  Other than muddy shoes, we had a fantastic time.  So much to see!!   A vendor in the last indoor building had two treadle sewing machines... *sigh*  I do believe that Mr. Hollow was holding his breath as I inspected them, but he shouldn't have worried...  Okay, maybe a little! ;)   They are still available today, since I left them behind.  They appeared to be in a little rough shape, and I am NOT looking for a project.  But the secret is out, Mr. Hollow has now been informed that a treadle is the last machine on my wish list...  Well, I am NOT sure it will be the next or the last.  But for right now, that is the plan! :)