Tuesday, October 30, 2007

C'mon a My House

Looky what we have!!!! Up here. C'mon and see. But cha gotta be quiet.

Are ya comin'?


It's Jenny's grandson -- Sweet Baby Kai. He's the dearest thing.

Did that Little White Dog mention that if you tattle, we'll deny everything? And if he awakens, it's on you. Kapeesh?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sometimes it's the Big Things

Let me explain... See that great big thing there...

Yes, that, it's a great big radiator cover trying, unsuccessfully to hide a great big radiator. I don't know who installed it in front of the window like that... but I would lay even odds his wife wasn't home at the time. I can readily hear the conversation when she first laid eyes on this monster in the window... "Excuse me ... what were you thinking? Were you thinking that a radiator is a fine accompaniment to drapieries? Or were you simply thinking I would not notice? And I suppose you are now going to tell me it cannot be moved or removed? Is that what you are going to tell me?"

I want to go find her -- I want to look her up at the local cemetery and whisper into her grave, "Looky, here, Sweetie, That big ol' boat of a thing is GONE. " (Cause you know she went from this life to the next ticked as all get out over that hideous big monster radiator.)

She'd heave a sigh so deep the earth would rumble.

That radiator has been under my skin since the day I bought this house... but it's gone, gone, gone now.

Next, paint, new drapes (real drapes -- ones that can actually hang right) new carpet, new upholstery... I might even spring for a new lamp.... Those oil lamps might have to find someplace else to live.

What I did, in terms of heat, was have baseboard radiators installed. It's no taller than the baseboard and unless you are looking for it you don;t even know it's there.

Oh, I am now the happiest woman alive -- sometimes it isn't just the little things -- sometimes it is the Big Things too.

I'm going to go pirouette in glee now. Twirling, leaping... yep, I am the happiest woman alive.

Monday, October 22, 2007

What with the rain and all...

See what happens when the skies open up and the rains come crashing down, endlessly.
First you start fooling with ribbons... then buttons... a little filigree here, a bead there.

The background ribbons for these bracelets started out life as vinatge seam binding. Well, it didn't start as vinatge. Once upon a time it was new and pedestrian as chicken soup. But now it is old and wonderful. Who binds seams anymore? As it turns out it makes very nice bracelets. I inherited this from my boyfriend's late mother. Actually it was bestowed upon me, by reason of my being the only "girl in the family". Silly boys assumed I would use it to sew.

No... I'm just using it to fool around. Then, as often happens, one thing leads to another... first it's seam binding bracelets, then it is button and bell brooches. Aren't they cute? I likes to jingle.

Clearly, I am way too easily amused.

Oh, and before I forget -- I was tagged. Betty at She'sSewPretty hit me up for 7 random things about me... (I thought everything about me was fairly random...

1. As an infant I used to regularly escape from my playpen. It was one of those wooden jobs -- I would pull back the pad, stick my find in the hole, lift up and crawl under. I'm sure I had no place particular to go -- I did it simply because I could.

2. I am not remotely competitive. I don't care who wins or loses, so long as we have a good time playing the game. Once I came in first place in a diving contest over a girl who was previously known to always win. She was devastated and I did not feel much better -- for me winning is not what it is all about.

3. I hate 3/4 length sleeves -- when I wear one, and I don't, all I can think about is how these sleeves are cheesy and too short or not short enough and they need more material.... or material needs to be cut off and if the meeting has gathered do start without me because I'll be over here in the corner fussing over my sleeves, ya see.

4. I built my first bench when I was four.

5. One of these days I want to just up and buy an airline ticket, fly to New York City for the day, see WICKED and fly back home. Ok, once I'm there I'll want to stay several days, a month even, but I can't get more than a day off to save my life, so one day and WICKED will do me.

6. Speaking of New York, when I was in 8 grade I had a brave junior high history teacher who took 70 7th and 8th graders on a long Easter weekend trip to Washington D.C. Baltimore, Philly and New York City. I still remember parts of this trip vividly.

7. I'm so dyslexic that it is not funny... actually it is, frequently.

As for who to tag who has not already been tagged... I don;t know anybody who has not already been tagged... twice... so I am going to start a new one... The New Jenny Tag is to name your favorite dish to prepare and write out it's recipe (give us a little history about why you like it or where you got it) And I am tagging: Francie of Cottage Scents, Vallen of Queenly Things and Sharon of C'est Chouette.

Tis the season -- it's all about the food.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

From Little Acorns...

Oops... that should be, "From Little Peach Pits"...

This little tree is planted in the Children's Garden, pretty much all alone. The drought this summer was so horrific that rather than nurse half dead things along endlessly, I opted to wait till next spring, when this dry spell will be a distant memory and all the nursery plants are fresh and hopeful.

But this little guy was at Home Depot , on clearance, where he'd soldiered on despite a plastic pot and drought conditions and substandard care. His leaves are limp but clinging. If he had that much life in him the least I could do is give him a place to be and a hope in hell of making something of himself. That's all any of us want anyway, really.

It's a very small area, not large enough for a huge tree and my intention is for everything planted here in the Children's Garden to be very child enticing: good things to eat, smell, touch and see. My plan for this little peach tree, the reason I wanted a small one to begin with, is to train him to the wall, so he stands straight and strong. It's called "espalier". He'll require some discipline and some training, but I think he's up to it. And I think I am up to the extra care required, the good things to eat he'll need.

Maybe it's just me, a mother's puffed up pride, but I'm thinking he's going to Do Great Things. Don't you think?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hot Stuff... Comin' Through!

Looky here -- two posts in a day!!!! Most unusual, but today is not just any ordinary day -- there's a Queenly Potluck going on. I'm bringing my specialty, Jenny Tetrazzini.

I can't call it Turkey Tetrezzini because.... here's the facts, I next to never follow a recipe -- but I promise you this is delicious. The basics are whole wheat spaghetti, chicken breast, thin veggie gravy and shredded swiss cheese -- to this add whatever it is you like most. In mine this would be bacon, onions, apple, carrots, celery, and mushrooms. And I like to spice things up; a little sage, some ground ginger, a wee pinch of nutmeg and a caution of salt.

It's a full on potluck -- Francie has already brought out jugs of moonsh... um, adult beverages . I'm sure later there will be a bon fire and line dancing. Grab a plate and join us.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What the Flock?

The crafts I come up with for the Little Old Ladies in my art group usually must fit these three criteria: it must be easy, it must be beautiful, it must be useful... But every now and then we throw caution to the wind and just fool around.

This was such a fun project. What I do is gather supplies. For the flocking I took this fuzzy, eyelashy yarn see...

Then I shredded it into a billion pieces.

I shredded deep pink, bright orange, royal purple and very black. It was fun, fun, fun (but you can see that).

All the supplies were collected into the spectacular Art Case -- all the flocking, the glue, the masks, the rhinstones, the glitter, the sequins and most importantly, the feathers. The art case, packed with mask-making-booty, was dragged to the epi-center of Little Old Lady Crafting Headquarters...

where we had a blast -- so much fun was mask-making that I forgot to take pictures. Oops. It isn't the first time. But trust me, they had a helluva swell time. One of them made a purple and orange mask and anther went hog wild with the feathers, one was entirely enamoured of rhinstones. One, who says every week, "I can't do this, I can't do anything," succeeded in making the most beautiful mask ever. And they asked the same question they ask every week, "How do you come up with these ideas?" If truth be told... I came across a big bag of cool feathers and had to have a place to go with them.

If you were to hide yourself behind a mask, what secret would it conceal?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Never in my life have I owned real silver. Till now.

And to be fair, this isn't "real" silver. It's plate. What connoisseurs of fine things sniff at. But this is my family silver. I'm not sure what happened to the everyday stuff. This is what we set the table with for Christmases and Thanksgivings, Big Deal Birthdays, Engagement announcements.

I didn't so much "inherit" this from my mother, rather I acquired it by default. We went around the room, "Do you want this? Do you want this? Do you want this?" We did this about everything -- from silver to blankets, holiday decorations to sweaters. It was very quick; we're a decisive lot. I got the silver because nobody else wanted it. I guess my brother and sister already have silverware. And now, so do I.

But something was missing. A knife and a fork. The set was incomplete -- I felt I'd failed to look after the family silverware from the minute I got it ... 5, 6, 7, 5, 6, 7... there should be 8. 8 little spoons, 8 salad forks, 8 dinner forks, 8 knives... Why don't soup spoons ever go missing? There were 8 soup spoons, but only 7 forks, 7 knives.

It bugged me that two pieces were missing. Thank goodness for the internet. Thank goodness for Replacements. Have you ever been there? I love Replacements.com. For one thing I LOVE china. But they deal in crystal and silver too. Even if you don't know the pattern name of the piece you are looking for, send in a photo and they will identify it for you. How cool is that?

As it happens I do know the name of my silver, so I looked it up, placed an order, -- 1 knife, 1 fork. There was even a choice between pristine perfect ones or ones with "flaws", "mars," and "imperfections". Wait, mine are 60 years old -- this was my mother's wedding silver. It's been banged around quite a bit. I opted for "flawed" silver.

And looky -- it's here. I still don't see any flaws. It's lovely. My family silver is once again a whole set.

Just in time to set the Thanksgiving table... I better practice -- I've never set my own table with good silver. I wonder if my son and his wife will like it... I can tell them the story about the missing knife and fork. They can tell their son... after all, it isn't the silver that's the family treasure, it's the stories... always the stories.

Gut Apetit.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Men Working

What's not to like about men working? ... gathering their tools and making something wonderful happen.

Especially something wonderful on the roof of my very cottage.

Ain't it purty? I so love this steel roof for so many reasons -- not the least of which is that it went up so fast. No tear off, no mess, no stress. Now the autumn rains can come and I won't cringe every time the sky gathers dark clouds. My pretty green steel roof is secure. My only worry is the next project... It's always something. But this something is done.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Dying for a New Purse

This bad pun was bound to come up sooner or later. I LOVE to dye stuff... any stuff. Tops, bed sheets, wee little ribbons, great big drapes. I need less than no incentive to drag out my boxes of dye. I mix colors, I blend colors, I play like nobody's in charge.

But this time I really have a good excuse ~ my old purse is ratty. I need a new one. And I can't just go to the store to buy a purse. (I'm beginning to notice that I can't just go to the store to buy anything -- first it was curtains. I can't buy curtains -- I have to make them. Then it was doggy collars... and pillow shams, towel trims, dust ruffles.) Once I even made my own dining room rug. This is getting out of hand isn't it? I'll consult a psychiatrist another time -- just now I have a purse in need of making. So, I have dyed my fabrics, gathered my pieces, cut out my "pattern" -- "Pattern? I don't need no stinking pattern."

I have embellished my pocket. Stitched down my straps. (yes, it is lined, I should have showed it to you.) Then I stitched and snipped and fluffed my fringe.
Looky here, Mama's got a brand new bag. How cool is that?