Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Touch of Spring

A Photo of my yard!!
Several years ago, before it was my yard. 
My neighbor gave this to me the other day.  He took it from his side of the fence. If only it could look like this again.
When we moved into our small cottage in late August, everything was dead and even the 30 plus rose bushes looked sad. After a little water, we were able to get many nice bouquets of roses before winter settled in. But there was no sign of any thing else.
Now with the warm weather the flower beds have been taken over with weeds, some over 2 feet tall.
As we are clearing out the weeds and trying to prepare for spring planting, we are finding a few surprises.
Reaching up for some of the early spring sunshine, we have found a few of:
and several of these,
and a whole bed of these (please ignore the weeds),
and lots of these.
As I was weeding this flower bed, and after I had pulled up some of these sweet pea vines, my neighbor said, Emmet had sweet peas growing all along that old trellis.
Opps. Well luckily, There were a couple I hadn't pulled out yet.
We'll see what happens with those.
A little of these purple pretties too.

After 2 days on my knees, one of my knees went out and I  had to keep it propped up with ice for a couple of days while I watched my sweet Mr. SS weed a  few more of the beds.
He wanted me outside with him to "cheer" him on, he said, so he hung my favorite wicker swing.
Now that my knee is better, I will start weeding the rest of the beds tomorrow, a little at a time. Can't kneel, so maybe I'll just scoot around on my bottom. (I know, not a pretty sight), but I have visions of what used to be:

Before I go, I have to wish a big Happy Birthday to my granddaughter Kobi.
She turned 13 today and her wish was to go to Olive Garden with her Mamaw and Papaw.
Could we be any more blessed.

Monday, February 9, 2015

A Little Valentine's Sewing and Decorating

Last year, my friend Sandi bought a panel and the fabrics to make a quilt she wanted to throw over the back of her couch for Valentine's Day. Actually she got enough for 2 of them(one for me too), but I only got hers done for now.
She and some other friends came over and we had a sewing day. I sew, they cut, press, pin and we all laugh a lot and eat a lot.
This was one of the projects we worked on.
The panel is from the Pam Kitty Love collection last year. If you have followed me at all, you know how I love those Pam Kitty fabrics.
The blocks all look like vintage valentines. The back is very romantic, don't you think?
I love sewing the binding on the back by machine and it looks like top stitching on the front. So quick.
I machine quilted around the borders and sewed buttons down the center to tie it off.
My machine quilting skills are limited, but using my walking foot it came out pretty good.
The Pam Kitty border is actually the selvage. But it is so cute we left it on. The other side says Kitty Love, I think.

When I took my Christmas decorations down, I knew I wanted to do something different to my hutch.
There is a story to this hutch.  In our previous house, we had a large white hutch that my son and husband had built and I had a table that sat 10. When we moved into our RV small cottage, we gave them to our son who has a family of 8.
When we recently bought our old  new little cottage, we had no furniture at all. This hutch was our wedding present to our son and his wife. It was just sitting in their garage so they offered it to us. It fits just perfectly in our little dining area as does their first table and chairs. ( I will show you those later, I have big plans that includes a can of paint)
There was a solid door off to the right that Mr. SS removed and we have now removed the glass doors, replaced the wood shelf with glass and added a light.
I thought the back of the hutch was too dark, so I was going to paint it white. Then Mr.SS suggested bead board, but that still wasn't what I  pictured. Then, I decided I wanted to put fabric on it and it took me a while to decide which one. This Pam Kitty (I know, what else) fabric with recipes on it seemed just perfect. It lightens things up and adds some interest. I cut pieces of  heavy poster board to fit and covered it with the fabric. It is just sitting up there, so I can change it any time I want.
I don't have a lot of stuff, but I  found enough red, white and  glass things along with a few Valentine things to fill it up.

Here's a close up of the fabric.
And here it is all finished. Those two top drawers are going to be replaced with wire baskets soon.
I like it so much, I think the red and white will stay even after Valentine's Day. 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, January 23, 2015

So, I Sew!!

It's been a dreary, gloomy, foggy January so far. I need to be out pruning roses and cleaning flower beds, but this weather just makes me want to hole up in my sewing room. So, after getting my house back together after Christmas, I have done a little sewing. Since my blog name sorta suggests I do some sewing, thought it was time to post a little about that.

Actually, the first two little dresses, I did before Christmas. I showed you the fabrics and patterns, but never got around to showing you them finished. They were both for Strawberry Patches for models.
Patterns and fabric available on SP website.
This one is "Penelope" by Olive Ann

I didn't get a picture of the next one, so I stole  borrowed it from here. Hope you don't mind, Suzanne.
It is also an Olive Ann pattern called "Butterscotch"
The fabric is Pam Kitty Garden, the new line just out.

 I'm so thankful that Strawberry Patches gives out my name to people wanting sewing done. This is a cradle pad. The sweet grandma wanted two mattress pads and 4 sheets made for it.
It had been a long time since I have done nursery sewing so thank goodness, I kept my  reference book for instructions.
This book had a 1982 publishing date and I have used it so many times, it is falling apart. It's a good thing I never get rid of stuff.
A couple of weeks ago, at church, I noticed how my bible cover was falling apart and knew if I didn't do something  soon to save it, the pages would be coming apart too. I have other bibles, but this is my devotional one and I have written in it and read the devotions since 1990. So I dug out some denim scraps from a Goodwill dress, some hexies I already had made, and robbed my vintage pearl button jar.
I even had a little scrap for a pen holder.
The back needed scraps to cover some unsightly seams.
Then I made little pockets to fit over the front and back cover.
Of course, I used Pam Kitty Morning scraps for it, still my favorite fabrics...ever.
These are the fabrics I will be using to decorate my laundry/sewing room. Last spring, I decorated a table for our "Buttons and Bows" luncheon at church with these. I have a ton of them. The aqua looks good with my paint color and the button fabric is so cute for a sewing room. the red is a dot(it's hard to tell) and a Pam Kitty Morning fabric...of course.
These baskets were black with white liners for my laundry room in my last house. It took about 3 cans of  white spray paint to transform them for my new laundry room. There are four of them and four little cubbies for them that Mr. SS built on the laundry side of the room.
I've lined two of them and am working on the other two today.
Still sewing for Four Tiny Cousins and made 18 of these last week. Nine vests for them are on my sewing table too.
Then with this chilly weather, I spend some time almost every day or night cuddled up under this quilt that I am hand quilting.

So, I sew until it warms up and I can get out and do my gardening...hopefully a little warmer weather this Saturday. No ball games, so guess I'll tackle those rose bushes...maybe.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Grandma's Bragging Rights

Sunday, we drove down to Cal State Long Beach (UCLB) to watch a cheer competition
That is Mr. SS's Alma Mater and we both grew up and met in Long Beach, so it's always a little nostalgic having a reason to return.

Lexi (one of our youngest son Brandon's daughters) is the one in the back row, center of the screen. We were so high up, I couldn't get a good picture of them. She is in 7th grade at Rosedale Middle School. There were 160 teams there. We watched about 90 of them and really thought her team was among the best. (Grandparents can be a lot  little prejudiced though) I guess the judges thought so too, because we found out later that night that they took 2nd overall. GO!! ROSEDALE BULLDOGS.
We are so proud of you Lexi!!

Monday, Cade (my middle son Eric's youngest) invited me to an event at his school called "A Walk Through California"  All the kids in his class dressed up as character from California history. Cade is a Gold Rush Miner. They studied hard to learn about California and were split into teams. Here he is in the "expert" chair and answering questions.

Cade and his teacher. Guess teachers get to dress up too.
Mom did a great make-up job on that beard.
Anyway, I learned a lot too and found myself trying to answer the questions along with the kids.
So proud of you, Cade. (Love my little Mini-Eric)

Okay, totally off subject, but have to share this:
Mr. SS brought the mail in this morning and laid this on my ironing board. Because we had moved, I hadn't expected to get it in the mail. Even when I worked at Strawberry Patches and taught classes there, I always got excited to get the newsletter in the mail. All work stopped, I grabbed a fresh cup of coffee and sat on the couch under my favorite quilt and read it from cover to cover.
One of my goals this year is to take a class....
Hmmmm...which one to choose??
Well, guess you'll have to wait and see because I can't make up my mind.
You can find the newsletter here on Strawberry Patches website.
Maybe we can take a class together.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Gratitude and a Little Nostalgia

I don't always choose a word for the year, but this year, the word "gratitude" keeps coming to my mind.
So, I wanted to share it here to remind myself to be thankful and full of gratitude everyday for the things the Lord has given me.
I am blessed with a wonderful husband who works hard to take care of me and never fails to say "I love you" everyday. 
I have a wonderful family and am blessed that we are all healthy. I am also truly blessed that we live close enough to get to spend time together and we that we like spending time together.
I am full of gratitude for the extended family that I have been connected to in the last couple of year.
Mr. SS and I are going to make this a year for connection with some of his family too.
I have wonderful, supportive, giving friends who stand behind me no matter what.

Mr. SS and I were talking today about our church and our church family. We are blessed with a great pastor who ministers to our heart.
And last, but not least, the Lord blessed us with a house last year and after 4 months of believing it is (or will be) our dream home, we are full of gratitude for it.
I have only touched on a few of the blessings that give me a heart full of gratitude, but you get the idea.

Now for the nostalgia part. After 3 full days of putting Christmas decorations away, I ended up with a few things that would not fit into any of my 15 plus tubs. I went to the shed and pulled out a tub of decorations from when my kids were younger, thinking maybe there might be a little space for the rest of the decorations.
I opened a box of decorations I haven't used since 1994. Many ornaments that my boys had made and some I had made. I pulled out a few of my homemade ones to show you. It was fun seeing these and made me think I should decorate a small tree next year with all my homemade ornaments. Anyway, the candy cane in the picture was one among 6 that were still in one piece. Can you imagine, over 20 years put away in that box, in the heat, and cold and moved about 7 times.
Isn't something considered vintage after 20 years. Do you think they are worth anything? Hahaha.
I singled this one out, because my good friend Suzanne, showed me how to make these. I don't think you can tell, but the Charlie Brown and snowman are "3D"
Remember these Suzanne. We made many, many ornaments over the years for our trees and to sell.
Good times.