Quilts for Sale

Friday, May 30, 2008

Oh My..........Where Did It All Come From?

Hello, dear readers. I've been away from my blog posts for several days as I've been purging for a garage sale/fund raiser at our church tomorrow. Oh my. My DH and I have donated enough stuff to have had our own sale. Concentrating primarily on the kitchen, pantry and basement, we've freed ourselves of half our utensils, at least half our cookbook collection, pans, canning jars, linens, books, magazines, decorative items and Lord knows what else. I kept a running list and cannot believe the number of items which have gone away. Except for the pantry which is clean and organized now, it really doesn't look as if we've gotten rid of a thing. It's like a spit in the pond actually.

This has been very tiring, but I keep telling myself, "Better me than Matthew." We've been in this house since 1972. It is our first house which we just never left! Our only child asked us years ago, "What am I going to do with all this stuff?" Well, we're trying to make sure he and his bride Suzie are not overwhelmed with "stuff" after we're gone. One of my sisters and her DH, who'd been in their house as long as we've lived here, moved last year and advised: "Ellen, even if you're not even thinking about moving - start packing NOW!"

I took a break this afternoon (supposedly to run by the post office) and went to two of my favorite haunts: VisArt Video Rentals, where I chose "There Will Be Blood" and "No Country for Old Men." I know they are dark and violent, but I've wanted to see the performances of Daniel Day Lewis and that fellow who was stuck with the 3 Stooges haircut through filming. You know who I mean - Javier Bardem. VisArt has every movie ever made including a huge collection of foreign films. And the clerks are amazing - young really smart avant garde kids whose knowledge of films is astounding. And their tattoos and hair colors are over the top. Stop 2: Dollar General! I'm SO sophisticated. Seriously, I'm in there weekly for my husband's supply of Mounds and my ration of Russell Stover sugar free candies. My treats are $1.89 everywhere else in town; just $1. a bag at the General.

We're due at church tomorrow morning at 7. We of the 'grounds crew' will be hustling to get our work done before the heat wave hits. The forecast is 90 degrees! We'll be spreading 100 bales of long leaf pine needles around the plantings.

I plan to post art soon. In the meantime, I'll share photos of these flowers from our garden.

Love and blessings until next time! PEACE!

Our hydrangea always blooms blue, as our soil is very acidic. It is one of my favorite flowers just now beginning to bloom.

I captured this photo of a wild rose just after a morning rain.

We once had two robust Baptisia (false indigo) plants. Last year's drought killed one plant, leaving the remaining one weakened. This is the only bloom.

On one of our evening walks a couple of years ago, we stopped to admire a lovely garden. The owner was planning to move to Davidson, so was digging plants to take with her. She was kind enough to share River Oats, a NC Wildflower of the Year in 1994. It really does look as if it's growing oats in the fall.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Moo Cards - They're Udderly Delightful!

Twenty-five images of my quilts were chosen for my Moo cards.
Click on image for a closer view.

Photo Credit: Bill Guerrant

It arrived today from London - my little box of Moo cards ordered just last week! I'd been wanting to get these little cuties for over a year. Seeing the ones my friend, superstar Susan Brubaker Knapp had gotten finally spurred me on. (Make sure to read Susan's wonderful blog entry about Quilt Market in Portland. Click on her link in my sidebar.)

Ordering is very easy, especially if you have images stored in your computer. I realized after working for about 30 minutes that cropping is an automatic step in the Moo process. Knowing this will make it even easier next time.

Included with my cards were three give-aways, advertising cards with info re Moo on the back. The cards read: "Hi - can you just blog this for me?" "Wow, that shirt looks great on you!" and my favorite - "Ooh, nice hair."

The cards are half the size of a regular business card cut in half horizontally. You can have as many as 100 different images on your cards for $19.99 plus shipping. After seeing Susan's post, I also bought the Moo card holder. My total cost: $24.98.

I have six lines of text on the back of each card: name, contact info, blog and web addys, etc. My Moo cards are going to be so much fun to give out. I couldn't be more pleased.

If you'd like have a really mooooving experience, go to: www.moo.com


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thrifting

My latest vintage textile rescue.

Much to my husband's dismay, I'll do almost anything to keep stuff out of the landfill. It literally hurts my heart to see a still useful object discarded. Besides......I love old stuff, especially textiles.

(I've been thrift store shopping for so long I recently learned it has a new name: Thrifting! To view some very cool finds, read Apron Thrift Girl. Just click on the link in my sidebar.)

I thought a recent trip to my favorite thrift store was going to be for naught. But then it caught my eye - a tiny bit of crazy patch. Amongst a pile of large plastic bags stuffed with fabric scraps was this bit of treasure.....sitting along the wall beneath the socks and belts. The bag was huge and the price tag small, a mere $3.50 for a load almost too heavy to carry. Although I couldn't examine the bag's contents, I took a chance and bought it.

The prize was emptied on the diningroom floor. Out tumbled scraps of bright blue Carribean cotton print - pineapples, oranges and bananas, nearly four yards of an amazing Asian ming tree jacquard upholstery fabric, a hunk of chocolate brown polyester double knit and a piece of early 1970's cheater cloth in the postage stamp design. And then I carefully lifted the crazy patch and was amazed at its size. It nearly covers the top of our bed! Although it is in fragile condition, as crazy quilt silks often are, there are useable areas.

This pretty embroidered basket of flowers could be salvaged
even with the pale blue stain. This is an example of what can happen
when a fabric runs or bleeds and is why I ALWAYS prewash my fabrics.

I love these little naive bunnies sharing a carrot.

This letter 'A' is a clue to the maker's identity. Alice? Amy? Amanda?

The bag also gave me over 20 1940's era patchwork blocks, 25 Sunbonnet Sue blocks which I'll pass on to another, and several orphan blocks. What a haul!

Amazingly, two of the orphan blocks were constructed of a sheer voile fabric. If I researched the 'Arnold Flock' maker, I could perhaps date these. Colors are similar to those used in the 1890-1910 era, but I'm guessing the fabrics are from the early 1950's.

I have never seen this pattern before. The blocks appear to be similar to North Carolina Lily, but...........

then the points were cut off and there you have it!
A completely new design.

Watch for postings of other great finds later this week.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Politico

I am so upset this morning. Someone stole all the Obama yard signs on our street last night - including ours.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Yum!


It's been a lovely, relaxing Mother's Day. We'd planned to have dinner at Lulu, a great little restaurant in a nearby converted bungalow. But they'd had a huge rush for brunch and ran out of food! So we went to our old hangout - Lang Van - where the food is always divine!

We began with spring rolls - fresh crisp lettuce and shrimp wrapped in rice paper noodle. Peanut sauce is a must with these!

My DH chose a large steaming bowl of Pho (Vietnamese soup). He spent 13 months in that country and Japan, so has a true love for this French-inspired cuisine.

I usually order #45, a vermicelli dish, but tried the Pineapple Chicken tonight. It was delicious - and there is enough left over for at least two more meals. No sticky rice though. I used to be able to make that, but no longer have my Toshiba rice steamer. That appliance really is the secret to great Asian-style rice.

Happy Mother's Day

A garden rose photographed after the morning rain today.

I love the delicate foliage and color of Rue.

Here's wishing all you Moms out there in blogger land a very happy Mother's day!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Macro

This beautiful bouquet of flowers grown by Laotian women was an early Mother's Day gift from my husband.


I love the soft yellow of this Iris growing in our back yard.

Blue Iris

I love to take pictures. But just taking pictures is not good enough anymore. I want to learn how to be at least a decent photographer. Today I squeezed off a few shots in the back yard, using the macro setting on my camera. It's a beginning.

Earth's Bounty

Watermelon is one of my favorite fruits.

We couldn't resist one of these!

These large brown eggs are said to be double yolkers.

Carolina's Medical Center and the new Levine Children's Hospital can be seen just beyond the farmer's market at the bottom of our street.

Laotian women offer beautiful fresh flowers they've grown themselves.

We'll buy our tomatoes and other veggies here until ours come in.

There has been a farmer's market at the bottom of our street - just seven houses away - since the 1940's. It was originally open just for Christmas trees, then for Halloween pumpkins. Several years ago the market added veggies and fruits, home baked items and eggs, even fresh shrimp from the Carolina coast. Shopping there is such an enriching experience, as it attracts people from all cultures and walks of life -old Charlotte to new South - chefs to young mothers.

It is a small, family-run and owned business which gives work to many. We are so glad it's there!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Keep Your Eye on the Prize, Hold On

We voted early and were told ballots cast at EACH polling place were running 300-400 a day. That's an astounding figure for early voting in North Carolina.

This Democratic household publicly makes an endorsement.

Our candidate.

In a country overflowing with serious problems, I am amazed at how easily voters' attention can be diverted by non-issues. Do the spin-meisters actually believe whether or not one wears an American flag pin should be at the top of the agenda? To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, "I dream of a nation where one day a man will be characterized by the content of his character and the things he believes rather than his wardrobe and accessories."

Friday, May 2, 2008

Adding to the Perennial Garden

This lovely rose appears apricot while in bud form. When open, only a tinge of that color remains. Roses with these flat blossoms always remind me of the wild roses which grow along country roads in Illinois.

Each year I find cranesbill geranium (gernium maculatum) growing in new places. A self-seeder, it spreads quickly, making it a nice 'filler' plant. As an aside: geranium is a Greek word for crane, as the unopened seedhead looks like a crane's bill.


Purple trillium (trillium erectum) is one of the late bloomers in our wildflower garden.

It is a beautiful day here - perfect for working in the garden. We're trying to attract more butterflies, so are establishing an area with plants they love - purple and white coneflower as well as a raspberry colored bee balm. Beautiful blue lobelia and white euphorbia, a dainty plant new to me, were planted along the front border. We'll scatter a bit of fertilizer in the beds, as rain is in our forecast.

Above are some of the plants I photographed this morning. Perhaps tomorrow I'll be fast enough to get a shot of the gorgeous butterfly I saw resting on the mayapple.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

One Year and More

My one-year blogging anniversary came and went on April 27. I was so distracted I failed to make note of it in any way. During that time I've had nearly 8750 visitors and written nearly 350 entries. I'll have to plan something special for my 10,000th visitor.

What began as an art and quilting blog has on occasion veered off into other directions. I've pondered a name change to Sentimental Journey, as I often write about childhood memories and my family, the most important thing in the world to me.

Another anniversary of note: we celebrated 37 years of marriage today. Since we'd already had enough excitement this week, we had a rather lazy day, dressing in jeans and revisiting a great pizza parlor the kids had introduced us to. We were home early and settled in our jammies to watch the conclusion of the fabulous PBS series Carrier.

The 10-episodes documented the lives of sailors and marines on a six-month deployment aboard the USS Nimitz. We were hooked from episode one, developing a strong affinity for many of the personnel. It was an awesome and humbling show. Hope you got to see it.

The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.

Photo: Wikipedia

A Shared Garden

Many of the plants in our garden were gifts from friends. I love walking our little winding path and remembering those who were so sharing. Yesterday Suzie, Bill and I dug hosta, canna lily, lilies of the valley, bleeding heart and cranesbill geranium for the kids' garden in Greensboro. To that mix we added a white mandevilla, a BD gift to Suzie, and a couple of extra herbs.

Matthew's Honda is filled with plants from our perennial garden.

Matthew shoots a close-up of the hosta leaves while Suzie looks on.


The kids share a laugh with Bill before heading out.

Matthew and Suzie say bye to Numa, their beloved Lab who's staying with us temporarily. She misses them and they miss her right back.

Going home. It's going to be lonely at our house.