Thursday, September 27, 2012

Romantic Roses

White roses are absolutely the most romantic flower to me.  I love all roses, but there is just something about the white ones that I adore.

Last Friday, I bought some on the way home from work and then realized that I would be gone most of Saturday and all of Sunday so I would not get to enjoy them in their peak.  I just put them in a half gallon Ball jar quickly after deciding these roses would be dried so I could enjoy them for much longer.

But they looked a little lonely.
Ah, that's more like it.  Croissants on a pedestal and a white pumpkin.
Some of my favorite things.
Even a single rose, ahhhh!
Can't you just smell them -- so sweet!
Just a few days later, they are all dried and still lovely!
A little moonlight, roses and music.
Romantic music. This is a music magazine from 1943 called The Prelude.
Can you read the title?  Romance From Les Preludes.
Take time to smell the roses!
Have a wonderful day!
Joining these partied:
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Arizona Quilters Hall of Fame

Someone once told me that I have the most interesting friends of anyone she knew.  I agree!  My friends are amazing women and men who have interesting lives and are very talented.

Yesterday I was privileged to see one of my friends, Diane, inducted into the Arizona Quilters Hall of Fame.  This is an honor not given lightly!  There is a somewhat involved process for a person to be nominated with specific contributions to the quilt world necessary for consideration.  Letters of recommendation are also required. The friends of the Arizona Quilters Hall of Fame and the Board of Directors make selections based upon the nominee's contributions as detailed in the nomination and the letters of recommendation.  The women and men who have been inducted have made a significant impact on the quilters and quilt organizations as well as charitable organizations in not only Arizona, but nationwide.

 You can see from the awards hanging on the quilt above that Diane is an extraordinary quilter.  She has many more ribbons she has won for other quilts as well.

This is just a few of the many wonderful quilts that Diane has made for family and friends. Diane has also been instrumental in several quilts made for charities.  One of the quilts she coordinated was in honor of the son of friends of mine.  She did not even know Jeremy or his family, but gave unselfishly of her time and talent to bring to completion a quilt that benefited the Hemophilia Association.  She also made many trips with the quilt as it was offered as an opportunity quilt to raise funds for the Association.

Though Diane does not really like having her photo taken, she allowed me to take a couple yesterday. She actually said, "Just one.", but I took advantage of our friendship and took a few more than that.
Another of Diane's accomplishments is to be certified by The National Quilting Association as a Certified Quilt Judge.  This requires much time and study as well as judging experience and passing both a written evaluation and an oral evaluation by a panel of judges.  Diane received her certification last year and thoroughly enjoys traveling to quilt shows to judge the quilts entered.
The lovely trophy above was presented to Diane during the ceremony.  In her acceptance speech, she gave credit to her family and friends.  She is especially thankful for her husband's support.  When she bought a long arm quilting machine, he immediately began building a room on to their house for her to use for her Long Arm Quilting business.
Diane is a talented quilter,quilt teacher, quilt judge, a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother.  The title I like best for her is friend. 
Congratulations to my friend!
Hope you are all having a wonderful Fall day!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Frenchy Grain Tray

Sometimes we see an image that we just cannot get out of our mind.  Our creativity goes on overdrive.  That was the case with the vintage look gran label that I used for the Vintage Look Grain Pillow..  I even mentioned in that post that I was having problems doing things right the first time and had messed up the paint on the tray.  First let me show you the good before I show you the bad and ugly, okay?

I have shown you this little corner of the kitchen counter before minus the tray.  I had always intended to put the tray there when I finished it, but didn't have it quite done when I showed you some of the fall look here.

When I was working on the tray, I decided to wax it, but the ink started to run a little.  Thinking I had wiped all the wax off, I tried a spray sealant and this was the result!

The paint began to bubble up.  Unfortunately, I touched it and the paint came off.  It seemed like a good idea to wait for a bit to see what happened when it all dried.  That was a good thing.  When I came back several hours later, the paint was still bubbled a bit, but was dried.  Since a vintage tray might have some flaws in the paint, I simply used a little paint and a patting motion to touch up the area where the paint had come off.
Even though the antique glaze is not quite the same in that spot, it really ended up looking okay.
Besides, since the pitchers are in front of the lower part where the flaw is, most people won't even notice that the paint is a tad bit whiter in that spot.  Not a bad fix for an Oops!
This tray is actually meant to be used on a desk in an office, but it looks quite at home with the Fall look on the counter.  I just love the wheat motif on this label from the Graphics Fairy.  The next time you see this tray, it might have a chocolat label and be used in a Christmas vignette.  The nice thing about painting things is that they can be changed with a bit more paint!
Hope you are ready for Fall.  It's just hours away now!  Hope you are getting some nice crisp days at least once in a while!  We are still plenty warm during the day, but the mornings and evenings are now cooler here in the desert Southwest.
Happy Fall!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Vintage Look Grain Pillow

This will be a busy weekend.  We have a birthday party for our grandson B tonight. Tomorrow our daughter from Tucson will be here with the girls.  We will be going to a wedding shower for our other daughter's oldest, our granddaughter K2 who will be married in October.  What an exciting weekend!  It will be a lot of fun!

Today I was learning humility, though.  I was working on a tray that I planned to show you today, but had a problem with the paint.  Since I had to do some repair work on that with dry time, I came up to work on a pillow that was partially done.  First I thought I had white thread in the bobbin and stitched a hem on the back of the pillow where the overlap will be.  The bobbin had tan in it and it didn't look so great!  After picking that out and sewing again using white on both top and bottom this time, I thought I had it made.  Two mistakes was my quota for the morning, right?  Wrong!  I accidentally stitched one of the overlap pieces upside down with the wrong side of the hem showing.  "Though it wasn't hard to fix, it took time to take the stitches out and stitch again.  Hope I'm good now for the rest of the day!

Here's a look at the pillow.

The graphic is from one of the wonderful French Graphics shared by The Graphics Fairy.
Using Photo Shop I changed the color from the original black and white image.  I wanted to have it be a little more subdued and more of a brown than black.  Then it was printed in reverse onto a transfer sheet as I often do and ironed onto the fabric.
It gives that harvest look to the room and is almost exactly the same color as the upholstery in this little French chair.
Of course, the sheaf of wheat will not stay there when someone actually uses the chair!
Or maybe it will be used on the blue and white sofa.  I like it there, too.  I tried it in the foyer as well, but did not like it there as much as I like the smaller "Give Thanks" pillow.
The tray will be ready in a day or so.  I've tried some touch up paint, but knowing how I am, I may end up taking the paint off and redoing the bottom of the tray.  Well, I'll tell you about that when it's ready for you to see.  Let's just say that wax and spray sealer may not mix well!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Partying with:
 French Country Cottage Feathered Nest Friday
The Graphics Fairy Brag Monday
Common Ground Vintage Inspiration

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Little More Fall

Little by little it's beginning to look more like Fall at least inside even though outside we are still in the 90's and 100's and there are no changing leaf colors going on.  September always makes me want to have Fall around.  The smell of apples and cinnamon cooking and a few Fall decorations helps the illusion!

This is the Fall look this year for the bookshelves/TV area of the Family room.

This is where the clock face that I made here resides.
Next to it is a little muffin stand.  I may add some leaves here, it looks like it needs something yet.
Not much has been done in the kitchen yet, but I do like this little vignette.
I can't get rid of ALL the blue!
The living room isn't quite finished either.  I'm thinking that since there is no mantel in this house, the piano might make a good substitute.
Can you believe this pumpkin as a plastic one?  A little gloss spray paint and the addition of one of the leaves I bleached makes it look more elegant, I think.
The apothecary jar filled with white pumpkins and gourds will probably move to the piano. It seems a bit tall for the coffee table.
Here are a couple of the pedestals I made here filled with a candle and faux acorns.
There are a couple of other things in the works, but I'm not quite ready to show them yet.  Hope you are having fun getting ready for the Fall season.  We are still a week away from the official start of Fall, but it's good to be prepared.
Partying at:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

America Remembers!

It was one of those moments in time that we never forget where we were or who we were with.  The shock on everyone's face as the reality sinks in knowing life had changed forever.

One of those moments I remember was the announcement over the P. A. system that President Kennedy had been assassinated.  The other was when our daughter and her husband burst into my Dad's house to announce that we needed to turn on the TV, America had been attacked.

What had been a celebration of my Dad's 90th birthday became something else.  We were all many miles from our homes.  Our daughter, son-in-law and their two older children had driven from Arizona to Illinois.  We had flown.  Plans to return home were up in the air as we watched in horror the planes, the collapse of the twin towers and the Pentagon and Pennsylvania aftermath.

We borrowed a car to drive home as the airlines could not tell us when we would be able to return as all air travel had been suspended.  It was an eerie drive as there were no planes in the air.  People sat in shock in restaurants with eyes glued to TVs as America tried to make sense of it all.

Later that year, I created this quilt that traveled for 3 years with an American Quilter Society Author exhibit.  If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know I showed this to you last year as well.  We cannot forget the heroes of the day nor those who lost their lives.

On September 11, 2001,
Lives were lost,
Heroes were born,
Faith was re-examined,
Patriotism renewed.
No American was unaffected
and one American, Todd Beamer,
immortalized the words,
"Let's Roll!"
Let's remember to thank the heroes who protect us daily -- the Police Officers and Fire Fighters and our government leaders.  Even in an election year when emotions and feelings are strong for one party or another, let us remember we are Americans first and foremost.
Always remember

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pastel Log Cabin Top

Well, I finally got back to the pastel log cabin quilt I had been working on.  I showed you options here and here as I was deciding how to set the blocks together.  I decided on option 2 and put the center part of the quilt together and it stayed on the design wall for a while.  I finally got around to making the piano key borders and here is the result, finally pieced together.

This will eventually go on the daybed in my office.  I haven't officially moved in there yet as there are a couple of things I need to finish for the room first, but that's a future post.
I decided to do simple string corners on this quilt top.  Here is a close up of one corner.  They are all slightly different from each other, but all use fabrics from the interior of the top.
Now that this top is done, I can get back to the project I was working on at our mini-retreat!  It is a Fall colored one, so it will be fun to work on and pretend that our 102 degree days are maybe half that.  Think it will work?
The pastel log cabin will join it's friends in the growing basket of quilt tops I need to quilt.  I know, my friend Jo would tell me to just hand quilt a couple of hours a day and they would soon be done.   But remember that 102 degrees?  I just can't get excited about having a quilt on my lap when it's still this hot! 
This afternoon I'm meeting with the editor of a magazine about doing a future article.  Yay!
Hope it is cooler where you are!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Glimpses of Fall

September is the start of my favorite season -- Fall!  While here in the desert Southwest, we are still in triple digits most of the day, September is the beginning of a cooling trend, or so we hope!  In other parts of the country the breezes are crisper, a leaf or two is beginning to turn for that wonderful crunch as we walk on a path through the woods.  The air smells different, somehow it is fresher.

Apple and pumpkin desserts and the aroma of Cinnamon in the air is just what a creature weary of the oven blast of summer craves.  Ah, Fall!

The first of September sends me scurrying to locate the Fall decorations from previous years and thinking of new ones for this season.  After all, the stores have had Fall items on the shelves since the 4th of July, so it must be time.

I'm ready to start!  Here is a glimpse of the direction my Fall home is taking.

This tablescape began with a toolbox made by our grandson C2 and our SIL.  They made one for each of the families for Christmas a couple of years ago.  This, for them, started as a Boy Scout project.  Ours went to the garage where I watched it.  Never was a tool put in it.  So this year, I asked my dear hubby if I could "do something with it".  He said, "sure". A coat of white paint and a little antiquing and it was starting to look the way I wanted it to.  With the addition of a graphic from The Graphics Fairy and a lacy Fleur De Lis, it was really looking like what I envisioned.  I used the freezer paper method to transfer to the wood after first reversing the image.  All I had to do was print onto the waxy side of the freezer paper and with the bowl of a spoon burnish the image to transfer it to the wood.  I love the antique look this method gives on wood.
Here is a view of one side of the toolbox. The cream colored burlap table runner is from last year. The table cloth is really a length of 108" wide white on white fabric sold for quilt backing.
The back side shows the back of the ironstone platter, has the same transfer and announces the season.
I think it definitely says Fall.
The neutral tones of the pine tree quilt and the painting of a round barn in Iowa also speak to the neutral Fall colors of the room.  There is also a photo of a church in Alabama above the round barn.  On the other side of the window, not shown here is a pen and ink drawing of an historic building in Wisconsin and a watercolor of the Town Clock Plaza in Dubuque, Iowa, all done in more or less Fall colors.  In fact prior to living in Arizona, our houses had been decorated in shades of gold, forest green and russets - very much Fall colors.  I still love them, but Blue, Yellow and tints of white are predominant in this house -- most of the year, but not Fall!
In one corner a small antique chest holds a basket of dried grasses and flowers and a faux pumpkin seed packet.
Next to the china cabinet a ceramic high top boot sits next to a silver bowl full of vanilla potpourri.
The dining room is ready.  Now it's time to "fallify" the rest of the house.  But first, maybe I'd better make some apple butter to make the house smell as yummy as the dining room looks.
Are you ready for Fall?  What is your favorite thing about this season?  Will you send me some Fall colored leaves?  I miss that part a lot!

Joining These Parties
The Graphics Fairy Brag Monday 
Cowgirl Up Party at Farmhouse Porch
Dixie & Dotties Fall Y'all
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Life on Lakeshore Drive  Bouquet of Talent