Monday, October 29, 2012

Vintage Milk Cans

Whew!  The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of activity!  Eventually, I will post a few photos from the wedding.  I only took a few with my phone, so they are not the quality I'd like nor are they posed -- they are truly just snapshots trying to freeze the moment.

For years I have had a couple of milk cans that my dad gave me.  Many years ago I had painted one green and an artist friend had painted daisies on the front.  Unfortunately, I do not know what happened to that milk can.  .  But, there are two that I had been contemplating painting an antiqued white and putting French graphics on them.  Then I read a blog where the blogger bemoaned the fact that she wanted a vintage milk can with the original rusty silver patina still in tact.  Hmmmm, since I had two, I looked at them with new eyes.

Perhaps leaving them with the patina is the best course after all.  As I had only put a couple of containers of pine cones in our entry way, the milk cans were added to see if the look worked. 
This basket has a few more pine cones now than are in the photo as my friend, Diane, gave me another bag.  For the first time in a very long time we don't have a tall pine tree or two shading our yard, so I don't have the easy access to the pine cones as we have enjoyed in the past.
The look is a bit stark, so I will be adding more mums or other Fall colored flowers and maybe a few more pumpkins as well to make the entry look more inviting.
When I was very young, I remember bits and pieces of us having milk cows. We no longer did by the time I would have been old enough to actually help with the milking.  I DO remember that I do not like the taste of raw milk, however!
Each of the milk cans has a "36" stencilled on it.
I'm assuming this is how the dairy my parents sold the milk to were able to return the cans to the right farmer. Unfortunately, many of the small dairies went out of business and many of the farmers no longer had a market for their milk unless they expanded greatly.
My mother in law gave us this milk can from the farm where my husband grew up.  She had it painted with a lovely Autumn theme on it.  From that time, it has always been displayed somewhere in our home.  She wanted us to have something of the "old homestead" after they moved from the farm.  It was a lovely gesture for one who loves vintage things!
Another treasure from the farm that my dad gave me was this cream separator.  It was originally green with red legs.  I painted it to match the patio furniture about 20 years ago, so it has quite a bit of aging to it again. Though there are heavy rocks in it,The monsoon windes regularly blow it over and  that has added a few dings here and there.
The cream pail that sits below is not vintage.  I don't remember when or where, but I purchased it several years ago to use by the creamer.  On occasion, it has held flowers as well.
So there you have it, my vintage milk cans and dairy paraphernalia that remind my of my country roots.  So what do you think -- leave them with the original patina or paint them with the French graphic?
I've missed you, my firneds!  Now that the dust is settling again, I hope to get back to a regular schedule of blogging.  Thank you for sticking around!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Autumn Chains Blocks

Because I love you and miss you when I don't get a chance to post, I wanted to share what I've been working on. I love hearing what you are working on, too!

These are part of the blocks that I started at the Mini Retreat in August.  The other blocks are exactly the opposite -- light where the dark is and dark where the light is.  Those blocks are partially finished. I have not decided what will go in the setting triangles yet.  Any suggestions?  Maybe I'll wait to decide until I see the darker blocks on the design wall, too.
Here is a little closer look.
This is a really simple block and, though unusual for me, no triangles in it!  My quilts almost always have half square triangles in them! Since the last quilt top was a log cabin, this is two in a row!
I love the chain that the darker squares form from block to block and the light ones in the dark blocks will add a lot to the complexity of the quilt. 
I used a similar chain block in my quilt Redwood Forest that I showed you here. The chains in that case almost seem part of the tree block as the background fabric disappears and only the chain stands out.  This is a wonderful block to use as an alternate block in a quilt.  Hope you will try it in one of your quilts someday.
Our granddaughter is being married this coming Sunday so this will be a very busy week for us.  Tomorrow and the next day I work and in the meantime, I have her dress here as it needs a small alteration made to it.
Hope you are having a fabulous, creative day!


Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall Hostess Gifts

Oh, good!  You are still here!  After my absence of a week, I was hoping you would be waiting for me! My sister even called to make sure everything was okay since I had not done a blog post for a week.

Life has changed a bit as I am now working again.  I am serving as the Interim Nursery Director at our church while one of the employees takes care of some health issues and is back up to caring for her ministry.  It's fun, I love it!  I have been a Children's Director, but this is more focused on the Birth to 3 year old children and they are precious!

In addition, this past weekend, our dear friends Deanna and Ron came for a visit -- a long overdue visit!  It had been at least 30 years since we had seen them.  And, do you know what?  We took up where we had left off when we all started moving and having kids that required a lot of attention, etc.

We met when our sons were around 2.  They both have the same name.  Deanna and I became instant friends and were inseparable most of the time.  We did everything together that we could until they moved to another state.  We crafted together.  We gave parties together.  We shopped together.  We increased our families at the same time. We went to a Neil Diamond concert together. We even vacationed together. And our husbands enjoyed spending time together, too -- what could be better than that?

Deanna brought wonderful hostess gifts! I was just thrilled to get to spend time with them, but she brought these.

She made almost everything!
They look perfect under the Thanksgiving quilt that was also a gift from another friend.
Who knew you could make a pumpkin from folded scrap booking paper?
Is that not adorable?
And another pumpkin with scroll cut edges, a bird from Prague, and lovely silk rose that is a pen and a cute harlequin jack o' lantern.
Did you notice the bank money bag?  It will be a pillow eventually.
It all came in this gorgeous basket that Deanna made! Oh my!  This will be used for all the seasons!
But the best gift?  The gift of getting to spend time with a dear friend who greeted me with, "I was afraid I'd never get to see you again!"  And her parting words brought tears to my eyes as she said, "You are the best friend I've ever had!. "  What a precious gift is friendship!
Do you have special friends that you have not seen for a while?  Give yourself a treat and contact them.  You will be glad you did. Friends are the sisters we get to choose for ourselves.