New cuties and our bad air...

I have the next six blocks all prepped which for me is putting it on a foundation, adding knit fusible interfacing, basting in the size of the block and basting in a red "stop" line to keep me from adding beads I'll eventually have to cut off.  Then I also put fusible knit interfacing on the back of the images to help them sit smoothly on the block.  This took some time but now I have all six blocks read to go and here are the images I have chosen to finish this project...
And Spokane had the dubious distinction of having the worst air quality in the entire nation yesterday with an index reading of over 300 which is hazardous for everyone.  It is because of all the fires.  All outdoor activities were cancelled and everyone was urged to stay indoors.   It is really bothering my eyes, I have a sore throat and a terrible headache and the fires continue to explode. This was taken yesterday... not too far from us.  All my hummingbirds have left and I know it is because of the terrible air.


Corset cuties - April - June

I did the final touches on April, May and June and started prepping the last 6 blocks last night...  I should be caught up by the end of Sept.  especially since fall  is coming and I just got Sling TV.  I love rehab shows and I could never get them before because we have never had cable or satellite TV...


More UFOs

Several years ago in one of my less lucid moments (and there have been many) I made a slipcover for my ratty old desk chair.  I used a white bedspread.  It was absolutely gorgeous at the beginning but easily  soiled with use and every time I washed it, it became grungier and grungier... So a new slipcover has been on my list a LONG time..  I kept bringing in pieces of fabric from the barn and draping it on the chair to decide which I would  use...  This photo was taken in November 2012 when the selection process started and have now ended with a different piece entirely...  DH is out of town for 5 days and this has moved to the top of my list.  In fact I am washing the tapestry fabric at this very moment...not only to preshrink it but to give it an aged look.

Also in this vein of getting organized I think I have finally solved the problem of keeping track of my buttons that I paint.  I have used baggies, envelopes, and various containers but all have been so inconvenient when an order comes in.  I needed something I could find buttons quickly and have handy when I needed it.

 Since my inventory of hand painted buttons is so low at this time,  I figured that now was the ideal time to come up with a solution.. hopefully the final solution and I think I have.

Years ago I bought this wall thingy with 100 pouches for earrings but I never really used it and even tried to give it away once on this blog. But now I'm so glad I kept it... I alphabetized the list of buttons I usually paint and made labels for the pockets.

Then I went to my magic barn and found this vintage rolling rack that I vaguely remember women used when they ironed.  I have two and used to use them for display in booths at shows...of course I never get rid of anything and this project proves why.

I hung the pockets (shortened a bit) on one side and on the back side I hung a shoe holder in which I keep shipping supplies... labels, envelopes, tapes, etc. I can roll it next to the desk when I need it and out of the way when its not needed.  I have been using it now for about a month and it is going to be the best solution..  There are a few little things to tweek but I'm happy with it.... plus I've been able to "upcyle" three things to make them useful again and that is always a plus in my book.

Note: this is just for my hand painted buttons... All the CQ buttons are in bags, drawers,  and jars...


More American songbirds from the Singer series.

I just finished a few more birds in the series of American song birds put out on advertising cards by Singer Sewing Machines around the turn of the century. There were 14 birds in the series and some I will probably not do again as I tend to only paint birds from my garden...

All  buttons are hand painted by me and there are no transfers. They are meant for decorative or collective purposes and are not washable.. Each finished button received several coats of an acyrilic sealer to protect them. They are lovely on needlework and made into jewelry


Sit-down dinner with the "good stuff"

More than twenty years ago we belonged to a very large gourmet dinner group.  Names were drawn every six months and dinners were exchanged in groups of 4 couples.  We belonged for years and enjoyed it thoroughly.  We were all like minded in that we loved to cook and use all our "good stuff" (the good stuff being china, silver and crystal)  We were also all of an age when we had received "good stuff" for weddings presents.  Although no longer   members of the group, we have kept up dinner exchanges with some of  the friends and last night we had them over... (Can you identify the flowers in the bouquets)

The menu was:

coconut shrimp
prosciutto and melon
goat cheese and crackers

soup: chilled cucumber soup with tomato sorbet 

salad: citrus salad with bibb lettuce and avocado, oranges, and almonds with poppy seed citrus dressing
main:  Seafood thermidor  (halibut, cod and scallops)
        Madagascar pink rice and red quinoa
        Sauteed Bok Choy

dessert:  Towers of layers of dark chocolate and white chocolate mousse
My favorite on the menu was the chilled cucumber soup with the savory tomato sorbet which I served in china cups.  Also at our age we try to keep the portions smaller.
And a good time was had by all...
And could you name the flowers?  Sylphium (yellow daisy-like flowers),  tansy, limonium, perovskia, and oregano "Herrenhausen" one of my all time favorite fall perennials.


Well I finished the old round robin Christmas blocks into an accordion fold book for the mantle during the holidays.... a project long on my to-do list.
It is hard to see details so below are two close up shots.

After it was all assembled I added some gold cord on the front along with some gold button and a tassel or two.  I used a glue gun for these final touches.
It all folds up nicely for storage and I think I will make a nice bag for it with gold scraps.  I did a tutorial on this project and it will be in the winter issue of Pam Kellogg's CQ magazine.


Molly is a chicken momma!

I've always let my chickens free range during the day and lock them up at night to protect them from the raccoons.  I thought the new hens were big enough now and started keeping the coop door open during the day.  For almost a week they would not venture out....just stand in the door and peek out.  Then for the next week they only would go within 4-5' of the door.  But today they made it all the way to the house and there will be no holding them back now.

But they have attached themselves to Molly and it looks like a little parade... a corgi and a entourage of 3 black hens behind her... She is not sure what to make of them.  Every so often she looks back and sure enough they are still behind her.

There is definitely some kind of mother fixation going on here... She hopped on the porch to sit with me and they just waited for her to come back down and off they went again...


Great thrift store day!!

My best thriftin' buddy and I used to go every Monday and go all day...  Now we are able to get out about once a month and are home in time for our afternoon nap.....but it is still great fun and found some treasures yesterday... hit 3 stores and all had senior discount day... a bonus...

First was this floral linen jacket (Coldwater Creek) which I will wear Friday.  Also found this dyed MOP necklace which matches perfectly.  I had to pick out the 6 most favorite things in my closet they would all have the Coldwater Creek label.  I am so sorry that they went out of business. Cost of jacket : $7

Then I found these four precious Cordon Bleu dessert plates ($1 for all)  I only wish there were 8.
Just the pan I wanted...  10" Fabreware which can go from stovetop to oven....like new ($2)
And can't forget the smaller things...  A soft green wool wrap, a great beige Italian silk tie, 4 cocktail napkins with whitework and scalloped edge and a piece of filet  lace perfect to make a case for my sunglasses.
And finally this elegant, 6" tall,  dusting powder dispenser with silver plated top ($1)...definitely will add class to my bathroom.  Also but not photographed, 2 pair twill slacks, several cool glass containers for buttons and some tassels for my Christmas project.  All in all a great day and we were home in time for a nice afternoon nap!!!


New Cats in New Hats

New cats in new hats..... I don't do cats often but I love giving them Victorian bonnets and I will have them all up by tomorrow.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/olderrose?ref=hdr_shop_menu


Taming Carole Samples templates

(Update 7/15 - I have been using this system for my Carole Samples templates for about 4 years now and wouldn't change a thing...  It was well worth the effort )

 I'd always kept my Carole Samples templates on a big ring as suggested but it was difficult finding a number and awkward to put them on and off the ring in order.. When I got to her class I looked around to see what others were using but it was rings everywhere I looked ..Plus the black marker numbers were hard to read on the purple templates.. So I knew I had to have a system that was user friendly to ME!!

So I set about to work out a color-coded system with rainbow colors...  I divided the templates into subgroups with 5 to a group.... 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, etc.  First I tried colored pearl cotton on each template and it probably would work but I wasn't satisfied...

I decided that I wanted to use colored tape but didn't want to buy seven rolls for just a few inches of tape so I did the colored rectangles on my computer and printed them on a sheet of good quality labels.. I divided each rectangle into 5 approx. pieces 1/2" x 2"   and put the numbers in order by color.. starting at one end of the rainbow ....red

The hole  for a metal ring was covered by the tape but I could punch it through... But I don't see ever putting these on a ring again.. They are so easy to sort and read this way.... Eventually I will make them a travel roll but I will use them at home 99% of the time... What I need now is an color-coded organizer for the drawer and that is next on the list..

Even gathered in a bunch you can see how easy they will be to sort... Sorry it's out of focus... trying to hold camera with one hand while photographing the other is a bit shaky.... Near the middle you will notice a blue label with a tiny white strip on it also...  I am starting to add that extra strip  to my favorites (about 12 so far) to make them even easier to find...

Now that part of the problem was solved I needed a way to see all the configurations at once to make design decisions... So I put all the templates on the scanner with their new lovely colors...

I divided them into groups, scanned them,  and reduced them so each color group would fit on a 4x6  index card... These cards will be laminated and put on a metal ring... I did reduce them further and got them ALL on one 4x6 card but they may be too reduced to be usable....but worth a try..

This is a work in progress and will need some fine tuning but I am loving it so far...  I should be able to study the cards and snap out the right template in seconds.....

And I made progress on my project for Miss Carole's templates... I found the perfect divided pencil box at JoAnn's.  It is very shallow and has a lid that snaps on... I added some rainbow colors to the section which matched the colors on the groups of templates.  I also finish and laminated the cards which are also coordinated and on a ring.. Once I find an  template in a glance  on a card, I can find it in two seconds in the tray...

I can either use the tray on the table when I am drafting seams but since it fits perfectly in the drawer next to my sewing table... I'm thinking that's its main location... I can snap on the lid for travel but the idea of a CQ travel case is definitely in the future.... not the near future tho...  I just love my new system... and it will make using the templates so much easier...
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