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

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Remembrance on Memorial Day

Every four years, our high school takes a trip to Washington DC.  When my son's turn came to go, it was his Senior year.  They had a name drawing from each class to select four students to place the wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.  My son had the honor of being the Senior class student selected.  My husband and I were and still are very proud.

This is one of the fine soldiers that guard the tomb.  The black area is where he passes back and forth... such an amazing sight to see. 

Here are the four students that represent each class of our high school.  My son is easy to spot, since he was the only boy selected.  He made special arrangements with his band teacher to bring a suit to wear for the occasion.  The kids were told that a nice shirt and slacks would be fine, but my son was determined to dress formal.  Due to the tight schedule for the trip, he changed on the bus minutes before the presentation.

Placing the wreath is such a huge honor... words cannot describe .  The Senior and Junior representatives placed the wreath on the hanger. 

This seems like such a solemn and peaceful photo, but it speaks volumes about the lives that have been given throughout the years for our country.  Those that came home, and those that never will... 

On this day of Remembrance, Memorial Day, God Bless all those service men and women who have served, are serving, and will serve this wonderful country of ours...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Learn to Perfect Quilting Techniques with The Skill Builder Sampler

After completing my first quilt top, I would like to learn how to create a variety of quilt blocks.  With the help of Leila at "Sewn by Leila"  and some experienced followers, I hope to complete 36  twelve inch blocks over the course of a year.  Yep, three blocks a month!  Will I complete this mission... I do not know, but I am going to give it my very best shot!  I think it will be great to be a part of this group and look forward to widening my limited knowledge of quilting.  If you are a beginner, or just looking to give helpful advice to others,  hop on over and check out the Skill Builder Sampler here  or click on the Skill Builder Sampler button on the side bar.  I will be posting my progress at the end of each month.  :0)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Making a Gourd into a Snowman Part 2

Did you think that I forgot about this guy?  LOL  It has been a battle trying to find space for my drawing, painting, sewing, and misc. crafts.  Half of my problem is that once I am in the middle of a drawing, I loathe moving my work to the side.  So... after a weekend of rearranging, I think that I have a happy compromise.  :)

My snowman received about three coats of paint on his body, before I decided that it wasn't the color that I wanted.  Aaaaagh!  Normally, I use Duncan paints (got hooked on this line from ceramics).  After I had enough layers of Snowcloud Gray on this guy, I realized they had darkened the formula.  My normally white with a tinge of gray paint was gray with a tinge of white.  I even did a second glance on the label.  Rats!  Out came the Titanium White and here we are 5 coats later.  Live and learn!

I love to draw eyes with different shapes and expressions (Must come from putting in all those eyes for students at the ceramic shop!).  This guy's long face can handle pear shaped eyes endearingly. ;)    His nose received a wonderful muted orange mixture, and his coal smile has made its appearance, also.  I basecoated the mittens and will add some shadow to them later.  It is hard to see, but in the upper right hand of the photo, I have an original sketch that will be painted on his belly.  I'm tossing around applying mix media to this one by incorporating acrylics and watercolors.  In the plastic container, I have swatches from all of my fleece fabric for his hat.   Although, I do have some felted sweaters that would work well for that and maybe a little embroidery to liven it up ... hmmm.... still kicking that around too. :)  All that will have to wait until the belly is finished.  After all, we do not want this guys colors to clash!  LOL

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Thrifty Find ~ Vintage Minneapolis Moline Tractor Items

I need to catch up on my traveling posts!  Well... my hubby had me all excited to go to this large flea market in Baraboo, WI earlier this month.  He neglected to inform me that it was mainly (by mainly I mean 99.9%)  men stuff.  Did this stop me from shopping??  NO WAY!  I just switched over to looking for items for my son.  Hubby walked right by an older gentleman's booth that had this wonderful Minneapolis Moline tractor umbrella.  It was taken off of a 1938 tractor and was in nice shape for its age.  Now... I love my son, but some of these umbrellas can go ridiculously high in price.  (Rediculous in this case can be 200 bucks or more!)  I figured the picture would be the only way of my son ever seeing one.  My poor hubby didn't even want to ask about the price.  It wasn't marked... translation... It must be really high!  After scoping out a few more items, the dreaded question was asked.  The response... 85 dollars. 

Do you suppose that it was my weary stance that conveyed the miles of walking through aisles of rusty men's junk, or perhaps the troubled look on my face realizing that my son was going to get a big treasure and I was going to get zip, that made this kind man have pity on me...  I will never know, but that was nothing compared to what was about to happen.  As I stood there contemplating whether I loved my son enough for an 85 dollar purchase (his birthday isn't until October),  the gentlemen keenly sensed that my son could lose out in this scenario and started to sweeten the deal.

He threw in this PTO cover that my hubby had been looking at for the Minni U.  (The cover that my son was outbid on eBay for at $33.00 without shipping added.)  At this point, it was probably a good thing that my hubby was positioned behind this guy.  Because there I stood,  for some unearthly reason that even I cannot explain, still thinking whether my son really needed that umbrella.  It probably took all my hubby could stand not to intervene.  Imagine his disbelief when all I said was, "I just don't know."   I think at this point even the gentleman wasn't sure what to think.  So he went in for the kill...75 dollars for both.  My hubby's eyes were huge at this point which snapped me out of the fog.  We took them both.  

As we began to walk away, the gentleman handed me this tool bag that I had been looking down at during my contemplation.  He told me to take it as part of the deal.  Lord bless him for being such a sweet man, even after dealing with me!

My hubby went back later and bought a Minni wrench from the same man.  My son was beyond thrilled with his items.  And no, I did not get one thing for myself out of this trip, but it was worth it to see the surprise on my son's face.   And to make the week even better... hubby, son, and our local small engine mechanic got the U to breath life.  Yep, they did!  Now the mad dash for new front tires...  :)

UPDATE:  My son got back a few hours ago and has been working out back with my hubby.  As I was finishing up with my post, they yelled at me to bring out my camera.  They are mounting the new tires as I type.  Here is the photo of their progress.

I have a feeling the Minni U will be running around town real soon! ;)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Thrifty Finds ~ Vintage Wool Blankets & Molds

It has been so crazy around here... but in a good way!  We have been running to garage sales, estate sales, and flea markets.  My camera is loaded with photos, and I just haven't had the time to get them up to share.  This week has had some 90 degree record breaking days.  But today, we ended up at a flea market 45 minutes away in 48 degree weather.  Brrrr!  So this week has been: the furnace running, the central air running, and back to the furnace.  But no flooding rivers here, so you will not hear any complaints from me.  My prayers go out to those in the Southern States.

I will begin with this post on the estate sale.  It is being held in a large building across the street from where I work.  How lucky is that!  I found some 100% wool blankets for $5.00 a piece.  Here is one that must have been homemade.  It has blanket satin binding on each end and measures 60" x 170".  It is unusually large and on the thin side, and I thought it would be great to use for batting in a quilt.   

These two wool blankets were made by St. Marys.  I think they measured 80" x 90".  They are super thick.  I have read where quilters have used them in tied quilts.  I love wool and have some projects in the works.  These would make some wonderfully warm throws  in the winter.  I just need to get them covered so that the sensitive ones in my house do not spend the winter itching! ;)

These molds were in two big bags.  (Most of them are stacked with their duplicates in the picture.)   Now I know the bottom photo shows Christmas trees that I believe are for jello, but the other molds are aluminum, thin, have one or more duplicates, and most are made in West Germany and Germany.  The array of animals, frogs, and fish are very small about an inch and a half.  If anyone knows what these are for let me know.  I am guessing that maybe they are for one sided chocolate??

This large bunny has   A "Nutbrown" Product made  in England on it.  It is approximately 4 inches long.

Aren't they just wonderful looking?   Hard to pass  up at $2.00 for the whole lot.  I figured that I could find something to do with them. ;)

This pattern was the West Germany set.  They remind me of sunflowers and are so shiny.  They are larger than the rest and could be for tarts maybe??

I have come across the tree molds before.  Love the little mold of the horse's head!


It is fun to have a sale that is so close to rummage through.  The owner is putting out some more merchandise this week.  I will have to wander back over and do some more hunting for treasures!  ;)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Vintage Nesting Boxes ~ A New Home for the Girls!

My son swapped his barn board planter for two sections of vintage nesting boxes.  The picture below is the single section that he has already mounted... And as you can see, the girls are already making use of it.  The second unit is a double decker nesting box that was painted at one time and will need to be repainted before putting it into use.


Egg hunts are not just for Easter anymore!   

Does this little girl look serene sitting there?  It is hard to tell by the photo, but she is raising her back feathers at the camera.  If I had audio, you would be hearing an awful sound that originates from the depths of her soul.  My son is pretty sure that there are two eggs under her, and she is determined to hatch them out.  Like Beatrix Potter's "Jemima Puddleduck", this charmer has never been much of a sitter, but time will tell...