Saturday, May 31, 2008

I love color!!!!!!!!!

.......can you tell I love bright and cheerful colors in this beaded cuff bracelet I finally finished?!! Remember to click on each photo to see it really close-up.
I used a light green felt for the lining, because that was on hand and blended okay with all my colors of beads.
And the light green edging took almost as long to do as the top of the whole thing! Three little beads at a time. I don't know why I love doing the beading except it's sort of like meditating.......and to see a design come together two or three beads at a time is VERY satisfying! I wish I had kept up with the hours this one took. Can't wait to start another soon, but one of the beaders in my online group suggested a different thread, so am waiting on that. In the meantime, I'm finishing up neat backings on the two-inch square pins and starting on May's square. Gonna be late with that one, but the muse has to move me!

Friday, May 30, 2008

....this says it all............

While roaming around in our historic cemetery one gorgeous spring day I came across this tall granite stone. I was so taken with this engraving on the back that I didn't even get a photo of the family name on the front!
This saying is fitting for ANY time of year, so here's your bit to meditate upon today! I've always loved it.

And this isn't what I intended to post today on the blog, but I'm determined to finish about two more inches of the edging on my beaded cuff bracelet today, so be prepared to see it here tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Kissing cousins?

These two cuties are my cousins, and they're also first-cousins to each other. They entertained the grownups at their yard sale over the holiday weekend, and were very kind taking turns at riding their toys.............Josh "owns" this John Deere tractor and decided he didn't want to sell it after all! Harley rode it and delivered stuffed toys around, trying to sell them.

Harley's mom is 34 and fighting a battle with breast cancer; she finishes up her radiation treatments in two weeks! She has two daughters, four and thirteen, and they have done numerous things to raise money for their mom's gas for their daily trips for radiation; each round-trip is 90 miles. What a wonderful attitude they all have, even through the last Christmas when their mom was sick with chemo, and now seeing her bald and growing new "baby" hair! Harley rubs her mom's head and tells her it feels like a baby elephant's hair! Four is a wonderful age sometimes. Pray with me for my sweet cousins to be able to keep their mom around to see them graduate and get married like "normal" families. Thanks.
Here's Josh showing us how his scoop works; at 5 yrs. old, it won't be long before he's helping his grandad next door to us disk up the garden every spring! He already helps keep their tackle and bait shop open and can tell you which is the best lure for catching the best fish, in case you don't know!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Froggy weekend..........

This huge stuffed frog/prince helped my little cousins next door have a big yard sale on Saturday! He's wearing a plush velvet purple cape and wearing a gold crown and his heart-shaped pillow says "Kiss Me"! And nobody bought him! Hey, Diane in you want him for your collection?!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Here is our little town's decoration for Memorial cross and flag for each of the fifty states. And the big granite marker that's been there since I can remember as a child, way back in the '40s or '50s. Our local American Legion tends this every year, and today there was a service on the lawn. (Notice our pretty little library building in the background).........a huge new library is being built about two blocks behind this one. But those of us who have been using and visiting this old one for the last 55 years or so surely hate to see us so big and modernized, especially at million-dollar figures!!! We also used to have ladies the Friday before Memorial Day uptown in Warrenton selling red crepe paper poppies and a corsage pin to pin it on your collar for you! Of course, people donated some change or a dollar or two, and the day just wasn't done until everyone you met on the sidewalks was wearing a red poppy! Hmmm.........I'll have to look into why no one sells poppies any more. I think the DAV (disabled American veterans) in the hospital in Durham used to make the flowers and send them out to make money. Happy Memorial Day everyone! And don't forget to give thanks and send prayers to any and all vets or servicemen and women you see! THEY are the reason we have so many freedoms, after all. God Bless America!!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I wish this "bigger than life" mannequin had shown up better, but the store here in town where she lives is very dark. Isn't she a hoot?!!! She was "nekkid" for months, but her mom put a vintage dress on her this spring!
This is our local vintage shop, "Catchpenny's" and where I find wonderful things to play with! I hope these photos will enlarge when you click on them so you can check out her pink "crown", too!

Friday, May 23, 2008


This is our old Baby Sister cat who never went outdoors her first 17 years of life and was perfectly happy. But since the other two old house cats have died, she is lonesome and for some STUPID reason one day last year, I started letting her outside the front porch area. Well after a few days of finding grass to eat (and puke up indoors) she hurries first thing to the koi ponds to drink and drink. (And puke up indoors.) She's got DH and me almost into our daily routines...........she starts digging the covers off me some days at 4 a.m. so I put a stop to that. I also ignore her antics and stay away from the front door until DH comes in, and boy, does she go to work on him! Needless to say, they go in and out now several times a day. She's a happy old cat; I just hope when she croaks, we cat lovers can resist getting any more!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Beaded bracelets, finally!

Here is my cuff bracelet, beaded onto heavy weight's almost done! For a first try, I guess it's okay, but now I have to decide whether or not to trim it closely and glue it onto the metal cuff form, and then line the form on the underside. OR: just sew on a pretty vintage button to one end and make a little beaded loop on the other end for closure. And line the underside with some pretty felt or ultrasuede. Below are the bracelets of the two gal pals I play with every Sunday afternoon! I think for beginners, we all did nicely.........and most of all had a great deal of fun! Thanks, girls!
Above is friend Betty's wonderful Victorian bracelet with a pewter center-piece; two pink polymer clay hearts, and even a couple of pink dragonflies!
(Can you tell she likes lavenders and pinks?!) Betty's the fastest; give her a new idea and she's off and always the first to finish! Love ya, girl !

And this gorgeous bracelet is being made by friend Deborah.......she loves blues! Hers has a centerpiece of a poly-clay button and also large round glass beads with little raised "dots" on them; then she's filling in the rest of the background with seed beads. "Dee" is left-handed, but always does meticulous work, whether we're quilting, weaving baskets, or any other of our fun Sunday endeavors! Thanks, Dee, for keeping me and Betty going!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A beautiful old lamp...........!

DH was cleaning out our little log barn in the side yard recently and found this perfectly wonderful old glass lamp. It feels like "satin glass" and the decorations on it are METAL! It had an old wire cord and chain for hanging from an old high ceiling once upon a time. I was going to clean it up and take it to the local vintage shop to sell, but the more I saw after cleaning it up, the more I wanted it to hang in my kitchen! So DH promptly took down the ugly copper one and put this one up. We don't have tall ceilings, but it's mighty pretty even without the chain! I love the "bohemian" look.
Take a look at this detail work! It looks as if the lamp maker put soft, almost melted metal into a cake decorating tube like you put icing on a cake with, and proceeded to squirt on the leaves and flowers and other
designs! I wish we could remember where we got it and I'd also like to know more about it........when I find a bit of spare time, I'll check into ebay for similar hanging lamps. Oops! I'll post tomorrow a photo of the light
after installation in my's amazing how MUCH light comes through the frosted glass! But then I have a 100-watt bulb in it; the older I get, the more light I require......surely it can't be yet another age-related
bugaboo, can it???!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

.......sick sugar maple............

DH and I found this leaf and a few others on a sugar maple tree the other morning on our walk.......I'm sure it's some kind of varmint or disease, but aren't the colors and patterns pretty?!! Very evidence of bugs anywhere, but we'll keep an eye on the tree to see what shows up next! (There's never a dull day here in the country!)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I love pink!!!

This wonderful, fragrant rose came from the last of a rosebush Mama brought here to the "country" when we moved in 1967. It always has its first buds by Mother's Day, and it blooms every month until frost! And the smell is just glorious.........wish I could share that with you too!
And the deer eat our caladiums as fast as we plant them, so I sneaked a shot of this pretty variegated leaf at my neighbor's house. We're all waiting to see which varmints go after her beautiful blooms this spring! None, I hope, but they will be sorely tempted!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Knitting and beading again!

This little knitted ribbon scarf LOOKS purple, but is really a rosy pink with silver threads woven in! I hate when things don't photograph proper colors. Anyway, it's on its way to Monica Magness who made the wonderful Pink Lady doll to be sold to raise monies for breast cancer research.........she's now making a small wall art quilt and asked me to knit her a smallish scarf that could be sewn on in the shape of the "pink ribbon" which we all know denotes breast cancer. Heads up, MM!!! It's in the mail!
And here's my first attempt at beading a cuff bracelet! It's about an inch and a half wide, and the aluminum cuff you can see a part of in the left-hand top corner of this photo will be the insert. The backing will be some fabric like ultrasuede. My two "best buds" here in town are all three artists of different mediums, but there's not much we haven't tried and made in the last 15 years! (I didn't say we made projects "perfectly", but at least we've made'em!) On Sunday afternoon we gather uptown in the loft of one of the beautiful old historic buildings and paint or knit or quilt or weave baskets or whatever's on our "agenda" that week! A few Sundays ago I gave them a "beading lesson" (hee, hee!!!) like I know what I'm doing......
I've only learned to bead on dolls so far, but we made right pretty pins/ brooches from fabric-covered buttons. Sewed the beads on to entirely cover the front, and then covered the backs nicely with felt and a pin-back.
We had so much fun, we decided to tackle a beaded cuff bracelet next......
that's heavy duty Pellon we're stitching onto for the backing. Stay tuned to see what all our bracelets look like when finished......I'm telling you those gals catch on FAST!!! (But they're younger than me!) Heh, heh........that's my excuse when their projects turn out better than mine! But we enjoy the fellowship and have lots of fun...........I am blessed to have these GOOD friends. Thanks, Betty and Dee!

Monday, May 12, 2008

..........more flowers!

.........this is a huge climbing old white wild rose bush near the back yard, in the pasture. I never noticed it in summer until this year when DH started dumping pine straw and limbs all winter there. The roses are pretty, but it's a pity they don't have any fragrance!
.........and this little purple cluster of flowers I can't identify; a friend gave me several of the bulbs years ago, and they've bloomed faithfully every spring! (Click on the photo to enlarge and notice the fuzzy/feathery stuff around the stamens.)
..............these purple iris DH says are Russian Iris; I thought someone gave them to us years ago and told me they were Dutch Iris. So. Take your pick; they bloom faithfully once in the spring but have no fragrance either! (Can you tell I like my flowers to SMELL NICE?!!!)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

I'm not a mother, but I picked myself a bunch of the gorgeous, fragrant old fashioned peonies this weekend anyway! They are filling the kitchen with wonderful scents, since I'm not cooking either! But I send happy mother's day blessings to all of you who ARE moms; it's the hardest job and the most important in all the world!
I finally finished beading the 2" square for April; I used our beloved dogwood blossom (which looks a durn sight prettier on the tree than on my pin!) Now on to a new square for May............hmmm.......anyone have any ideas? My time's flying by; half the month is gone!
..........and finally the bluebird babies hatched! This little family is in the backyard birdhouse, and those parents are feeding the hatchlings all day long! I'm sorry for this cold wave and rain we're getting today, and hope the mama birds are sitting on these naked babies to keep them warm!
It's only 55 degrees outside today.............but we need the rains.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Baubles and bling!

These are two vintage rings I've recently bought from the local vintage shop named "Catchpenny's"....... I also sell vintage wares of mixed kinds there, but it seems like I'm not getting much ahead in the money department, since some months I end up buying more than I make! I don't know what kind of stone the green ring is........but I love the sterling silver work on both pieces.......the amethyst I may have shown earlier; it's my February birthstone. And can you tell I love big and chunky jewelry?!!!!
And here's a heavy metal hummingbird "head" with glass eyes, and a pair of screw-type earrings that are very intricate flowers. The two rhinestone pins "needed" to come home with me to join my small collections of rhinestone jewelry. Heh, heh........oh, how I love to shop in my little hometown stores!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Beautiful things............

This gorgeous "fan" quilt was one of the things being raffled off at our Relay for Life recently. I bought several chances on it, but didn't get it!
It was a labor of love for the lady who made it by hand, and then so generously donated it for the cause!
......and check out these wonderful bits and pieces of old lace and dainty old embroidery scissors and a collar, buttons and a pair of pale pink girls' socks/hosiery that someone had lovingly crocheted an edging of lace at the tops and run pink silk ribbon through the pattern! A dear friend of mine generously gave these things to me when cleaning out the old "home place".........knowing that I treasure these kinds of goodies, and I will very likely use them to embellish an art wall quilt or pillows or purses! I think the dark-aged oblong piece of lace/crochet will make a gorgeous wide band bracelet, with old ivory pearls and beads added, don't you?!!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Old teapots and local Dog Walk...........

The other day while digging in the little old log barn in the yard, DH came across parts of my childhood tea set which you see above. Mama saved them from the two sets my sister and I had when we were small children. Sister's set was banded in blue, of course, because of her wonderful ice-blue eyes (and she being oldest/first/most spoiled!) she got to have her every desire until I came along four years after she arrived!
Everything had to be blue for her also 'cause she is and always was a "tomboy", and loved blue. I, on the other hand, with my plain old hazel-brown eyes and love of dollies, ruffles, and tea parties, loved all things pink. So I'm assuming the pink banded teapot here is mine and the blue banded cup is sister's. I surely wish the other parts were here; I'm sure there was a sugar and creamer as well as cups. I remember many a fun tea party with friends and neighbor girlfriends in the side yard..........we used the stump of a huge old tree for our table, and Mama loaned us dish towels for our tablecloths. I'm blessed with so many wonderful and carefree childhood least the ones I can remember!!! The 40's era was a great time to grow up in our family.........even with our maternal grandmother living with us. I wish now that I am old for her to talk with some days.

Our local animal group recently had a dogwalk in order to raise monies for the spay-neuter program, and trying to adopt some puppies presently at the shelter. Click on the photo above to see what's printed into these cute dog biscuits one of the members made to sell.....
And these two pups wanted to all get together and play OUTSIDE the pen instead of walking one-at-a-time! Some cute ones.........I hope they all got great new homes!
........and this great huge van was recently acquired; it does a great service, especially for a poor rural county like Warren. The name of the local animal group is on the side: Citizens for Animal Protection (CAP). About every two weeks this van travels "up north" to New Jersey and carries our local puppies from the shelter that haven't been adopted out to another rescue group there who have wonderful people wanting to adopt them.....and even pay $$$ for them!!! It saves so many dogs from a death sentence...........we hope someday to be a "no-kill" shelter; so far I think the CAP group has worked with the local animal shelter to move them out for adoption here or away before their time runs out! Of course now we have the additional burden of the rising cost of fuel for the van to make runs up north.........the group has more ideas planned locally this summer to raise more funds. Pray for our little group and our cats and dogs!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Blankets and blankets............

.......this one is actually NOT a "blanket", but a fabric collage/quilt made by my artist cousin and donated to our local Relay for Life this weekend. The background fabric is actually a beautifully quilted vintage satin quilt she got at the Salvation Army thrift shop! Three sides are scalloped; one side is white and the other a very pale lavender. She cut up various fabrics and clothes and laces, buttons, etc. for the blocks and embellished them with even more things like broken costume jewelry, rick-rack, measuring tape, crocheted flowers, etc. I'm anxious to find out how much $$$ it brought to the cause........lots of people were fondling it!
........and this is a thin (wool?) "Indian" blanket in gorgeous colors, with one small design in the center. It's been packed away in a cedar chest for more than 50 years, so it's in wonderful condition. I wish I could tell if it was handwoven or machine-made. (I also can't decide whether to give it for a gift for a dear one who loves western things, or to sell it here in our local vintage shop!) If anyone reading this could give me more information about it by seeing a photo of the entire blanket, please let me know!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Beads and blooms.............

Baby Sister cat thinks she's hidden here. She flew out the door and down the steps and under this low-hanging azalea branch and flopped down and just stayed perfectly still, waiting for me to find her! Anytime she's even partially hidden (especially her face) and her big white butt is hanging out in plain view, she thinks we can't find/see her. After 18 years of playing hide-and-seek with her, you'd think we would all tire of it, wouldn't you?
But she's our last "indoor" cat and pretty special..........only other "cat" people can understand that reasoning!
And here you can plainly see that I'm behind on finishing my April beaded square! None of it has gone right since I started it; I guess because I just drew a dogwood blossom and some leaves onto the pellon and had no idea how I'd finish the background. I wanted deep blue sky, but these blue beads are too dark. I also wanted to do the background in spirals, and it doesn't show up at all; so it's being laid aside for the weekend.
Tonight we participate in the local Relay for Life at the high school track, and the weather for once is perfectly gorgeous!!! It's 80 degrees and sunny, with a breeze...........just right for us cancer survivors to make our first lap around the track about 6 p.m. After that, anyone can walk; and I have to make the rounds of the vendors' stalls set up around the track........they sell yummy home-made eats and all sorts of "doo-dads" to raise monies for the American Cancer Society. The free T-shirts we get this year are purple!
One of my fave colors; the only problem is we usually get them early and I have time to cut off about a foot of my shirt and hem it, and this year we get them at the last minute at the track! I'm only 4' 11" tall now (thanks to early osteoporosis and a shrinking spine), so all of us short people will have knee-length shirts! Heh, heh.........ought to be good for DH to take some funny pix for my blog later on! Stay tuned! But on a serious note:
this year I'm celebrating my 28th year in remission from breast cancer; and I was only 36 years old at the's been hard and caused many health problems since then, but I am so blessed and thankful to be walking tonight! God is good!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

April showers brought May flowers!

One of our pink Lady Slipper plants has ballooned out and is "doing her thing"; the other is showing only leaves so far. But we are so happy to see them at all.........we moved several of them from the woods years ago and they bloomed one year and disappeared. Now this spring they are back...
and in a different place! Mother Nature is full of surprises............
This photo taken at the corner of our house shows way off in the background white dogwoods; closer up is the pink "redbud" tree, and in the foreground is one of DH's three goldfish/koi pools with the yellow water iris beginning to bloom. (Remember to click on each picture and it should enlarge to see details!)
.......and this shot I took from the driveway with the pink azalea blooms waning in the foreground and daylily greenery growing fast and thick to the left. The wonderful old dogwoods that I planted as 6" babies 25 years ago are still blooming, in spite of the drought in this area; we only lost two so far. I hope you enjoyed today's stroll through our yard! I'm hoping for more beadwork to show you by the weekend. And we're preparing for tomorrow night's local Relay for's always an emotional walk for us cancer survivors in that first lap; and after dark walking around the track with the luminary candles burning with names of loved ones both here and lost. Stay tuned for photos of that event!