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...


Big Chicken Merger

The big chicken merger has commenced.  I started last night..  The older chickens are being bullies and territorial and the new chickens are being properly subservient and cautiously huddling together.  The older chickens will not let the young ones eat from the trays  yet but I have extra food on the ground they can scratch  for  and today after bridge I will let them all out in the garden together to free range.    
Not only did I want them closer in size before combining, the young chickens were on a different feed.  The blurry chicken in the middle is one of the older hens and you can see the younger one the right is rapidly catching up.  The "girl" on the left is one of the new chickens and it has turned out to be a "guy"  I have been spending time sitting in the coop  just watching the whole social drama unfold..... It's going as well as I could hope for at this point... no blood drawn as yet..


My favorite photo of the year happened this morning..

My favorite photo of the year happened this morning at the ground level water bowl just outside the living room window..  I love it that in both shots you can see all the babies reflected in the water.....especially the second shot...

In this shot you have to look closely to the right to see mama.
 I did take the dog's bench outside and spray it for a do-over.  And of course added a little lace...


2008 Round Robin Christmas Blocks

I did find my RR booklet so I know this round robin started in 2008 and besides myself, the participants were Maire Courtney, Sherry Johnson, Debbie Smith, Cheryl Anderson and Sossity Smith. I haven't seen their names recently and hope they are still crazy quilting.  I can't for sure who did what block but the last one was mine..  And I think Maire did the first one.  We were in many round robins  together and she has such a distinctive delicate style.

This is what they looked like when I sent them out.  I love every one!


Looking good and can't have enough lace!!!

I'm not done but it is going to work....  I thought I might have to add another layer of the stiff interfacing to get it to stand but it is fine.... It will really be stunning on the mantle during the holidays...
This is how the back looks with the two broad bands of ribbons attached.  The bands will be covered with red felt as soon as I can get to a fabric store to get some..  The extra layer of felt will make the blocks even more rigid.  The last step will be the extra embellishing on the front with gold stuff. I did run into an irritating problem with the gold ribbon for the binding.  It really wanted to unravel and I should have left extra length when I cut it... It will be covered with the felt when done and on the back so not too noticeable... 
Ran across this picture on the internet today and it made me really want to paint something...  I have painted just about everything in my house....
Remember the Victorian sitting bench I made for the dogs to look out the window?  Well it hasn't been painted yet.  I think I will get DH to help me carry it outside to spray tomorrow.  I would love to do it all up with lace besides but not too practical for dog furniture.... maybe a little lace...

And then there was my work stool I wanted to cover with lace like this ....again not to practical...  I'm going to compromise on this one and cover the seat with some quilted material and just trim it with lace.  We have had weeks of weather near or over 100 F so inside projects are coming to my attention..


And how many stars??

I was born during the "Great Depression".  Most of us growing up during this time had the "value of a collar" ingrained into our psyche as well "getting the most for you money", "saving for a rainy day", and searching for quality goods...  Even in the 1960s I never made purchases without going to the library and checking Consumer Reports and the periodicals index for information.. In those days there were just not that many options,,,,,  This research is not a habit that I can discard even if I wanted to. 

But now the available information and reviews are like a looming elephant next to a mouse. One would think that it would be a snap to do it in this day and age.  It is actually exhausting but I can't stop and, because of mixed reviews, still often undecided.  I can guarantee that no matter how wonderful a product is there will be someone writing negative reviews.

In May we were going to take the plunge and buy "smart" phones for both of us. We figured we might as well both learn at the same time.  I spent about 3 weeks searching the internet for the perfect phone for seniors, the best plans for service, phones with the best customer service and performance record, etc. etc. etc....  The more I searched the less certain I was about a choice.  Some brands would have thousands of reviews.

I had no sooner finished that and had the phones when I was starting to get bids for a new heat pump and furnace and it all started over again....  Now the furnace is installed but I need to make sure I buy the best filters to protect this HUGE investment and of course I want to find them in bulk at a bargain.... so back to my friend google and search, search. search...  But I am so grateful for the reviews and they do influence my decision...

For anyone interested we did end up buying LG Ultimate phones through Amazon because we could get Tracfone "pay as you go" and transfer all the minutes we had already accumulated as Tracfone customers....  We chose a second level furnace (Lennox instead of Trane)  because we only plan to be here 10 more years and didn't need all the extra bells and whistles... but still good enough to qualify for the power company's $500 rebate for energy use.  I think it is rather ironic that in the 60s I was a young bride on a very limited income and every penny had to count....and now 50 years later as a much older bride, still on a very limited income and every penny still has to count.

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